The 2014 NBA Draft is finally here! If this year’s draft is anything like last year’s, we’ll get to look forward to watching fan bases trip over themselves trying to figure out which player plays for which team after draft-day trades, we’ll have plenty of good and bad decisions to break down and we’ll possibly get to see Bill Simmons try to restrain his reactions to unfolding events.
Throw in the fact that this is the most hyped draft class since 2003 when the league welcome LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh into the league and we have plenty to be excited for tonight.
One of a thousand big story lines heading into tonight’s draft is what the Cleveland Cavaliers will do with their No. 1 overall pick. Joel Embiid seemed like a frontrunner for the top selection until the revelation of a stress fracture in his foot dealt a blow to his draft stock. Now, the Cavaliers have tons of options and no real answers about what they should do in order to make the most of their third No. 1 pick in the last four years.
Should they trade the pick? They’ve already received enticing offers from the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz, and that’s before we mention Kevin Love trades are always on the table. Should they keep the pick? Even without Embiid in the running for the top spot, the Cavs have two potential franchise players in front of them with Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins.
Since the NBA Draft Lottery Era began in 1985, there have been 29 No. 1 picks. Of those 29, only seven have never made an All-Star Game and two are already in the James Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Anthony Bennett jokes aside, someone should probably tell the Cavs not to trade this pick based on that history.
In order to strengthen the argument that the No. 1 pick is not something to be traded away, especially in such a loaded draft, let’s take a look at the 10 best No. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft Lottery Era.