The Hardwood Paroxysm crew put their heads together and answered some big questions ahead of the NBA Draft Thursday night. The only way to answer them? Round. Table. Over. Everything. RTOE.
1. Post-Embiid injury revelation, who should the Cavs take at No. 1?
Miles Wray (@mileswray): Let’s assume that Embiid’s injury was sustained in an accidental way — another player stepped on his foot, Embiid slipped on a banana peel, et cetera. The Cavaliers should still pick Embiid #1, thereby pumping the brakes on their own, inevitably counter-productive “MUST GET PLAYOFFS NOW” mantra.
Brian Schroeder (@Cosmis): I suppose the obvious answer is Andrew Wiggins, but it’s hardly set in stone. Jabari Parker seems to be who they’re after, and despite he and Irving forming what would be a pretty poor defensive 1 and 2, that’s not what you look for in a #2 player. Plenty of teams have succeeded with bad defenders as their best players, and it’s not like Jabari is James Harden or anything.
Eric Maroun (@ejmaroun): Andrew Wiggins. The Cavs biggest need is someone who can defend the perimeter and who excels at scoring in ways that don’t involve going ISO every time down the floor. Wiggins is the obvious fit here to fill that role. So who will the Cavs ultimately end up choosing? Jabari Parker.
Dane Carbaugh (@danecarbaugh): If you’re Cleveland and you can’t take Embiid, you’re in a tight spot. Taking either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker is going to squeeze either Dion Waiters or Anthony Bennett for playing time. If I’m forced to choose, I’m taking Wiggins.
Kevin McElroy (@knickerbacker): If Embiid was their guy and there was a chance to trade down into the 4-6 range and possibly still get him there, I’d look long and hard at trade options. If nothing tempts them to leave number 1, Wiggins very likely becomes the guy. I do, however, think it’s a bit odd that a guy who has some uncertainty attached to him due to injury (Embiid) is now seen as unworthy of the #1 pick when two guys who have uncertainty attached to them due to their basic skill sets (Wiggins and Parker) are still acceptable options there.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): With Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters sharing the backcourt, the Cavaliers don’t need another gunner, so that rules Jabari Parker out of the picture. With Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters sharing the backcourt, the Cavaliers are an abomination defensively, so that gives Andrew Wiggins a foot in the door.