The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery will be held Tuesday evening and once the ping pong balls are revealed, the order will officially be set for the 2014 NBA Draft. Teams took tanking to a new level this past season in hopes of earning the top overall pick and a chance to select one of the three players likely to go first; Duke’s Jabari Parker, and Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid from Kansas.
Here is a breakdown of each team’s needs and should they win the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery, who they would likely select with that top pick. Click here for The Sports Bank’s 2014 NBA Mock Draft.
Milwaukee Bucks (25%)- Jabari Parker
The Bucks were one of the worst offensive teams in the league this past season and the former Dukie would give them a needed go-to scoring option moving forward. I think he is a 20+ per night scorer at the next level and is ready to put up numbers right away. Milwaukee did just draft a forward of the future last year in Giannis Antetokounmpo who is a longer, athletic type, which is why they can pass on Wiggins. Jabari and Giannis should be able to play in the same frontcourt down the road even though small forward is both of their natural positions. With the Larry Sanders off-the-court issues from this past season, Embiid is a possibility as well since he would bring more offensive ability down low.
Philadelphia 76ers (19.9%)-Andrew Wiggins
The Sixers are re-building more than any team in the NBA. They have pretty much blown up their roster since last summer highlighted by dealing Evan Turner prior to the trade deadline. With no hopes of winning right away, Philly is in a position to draft the best available player to add to last year’s first round picks, Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. That player is Andrew Wiggins.
He fits a need at small forward and also has a ridiculous amount of upside. His athleticism and defensive abilities are strong but he needs to develop his all-around offensive game especially his consistency with his outside shot and aggressiveness attacking the tin. The 76ers also acquire the rights to New Orleans’ pick, if they don’t move up in the lottery, so they will be adding a pair of building blocks for their franchise in this year’s NBA Draft Lottery.
Orlando Magic (15.6%)-Andrew Wiggins
With Moe Harkless and Tobias Harris at forward and Nikola Vucevic at center, the Magic already have a young, up-and-coming frontcourt. Their biggest need is at point guard where Dante Exum and Marcus Smart are better fits. However, there is no way Orlando reaches for either Exum or Smart and instead takes Wiggins and figures out the forward position afterwards. I think Orlando would be a team that might be intrigued with the possibility of moving down from the #1 spot in hopes of grabbing Exum or Smart while also acquiring more future assets.
Utah Jazz (10.4%)-Jabari Parker
Utah needs to upgrade their wing play, especially with Gordon Hayward now a restricted free agent. The Mormon connection is a huge plus but Parker’s scoring ability makes him a better fit in Utah since they were the second worst offensive team in the NBA this past season.
Boston Celtics (10.3%)-Jabari Parker
Kelly Olynyk, Victor Faverani, and Joel Anthony are the big men on the C’s roster so they would probably take a long look at Embiid as a possible frontcourt mate alongside Jared Sullinger (who like Embiid, had back issues coming out of college.) Even though Boston has Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace at small forward, neither of those guys warrant passing on Parker or Wiggins so it comes down to preference and Parker’s scoring ability seems to make more sense alongside Rajon Rondo.
Los Angeles Lakers (6.3%)-Jabari Parker
With the Lake Show likely undergoing a major roster overhaul this summer, their best bet is to take the best available player. Parker would provide a needed second banana for Kobe and possibly become their go-to option of the future while Wiggins’ versatility is also needed. I could also see L.A. seriously considering Embiid since the organization has a long history with franchise centers but the health concerns could be a deal-breaker especially with Kobe recovering from his own injuries.
Sacramento Kings (4.3%)-Andrew Wiggins
Rudy Gay holds a player option on the final year of his contract so his long-term future in Sacramento is murky. Wiggins would give the Kings an all-around talent and needed defensive stopper on the wing. A potential Embiid/DeMarcus Cousins frontcourt would be intriguing as well.
Detroit Pistons (2.8%)-Jabari Parker
With Andre Drummond already established as their franchise center, the Pistons have no need for Embiid (hey, that rhymed.) Greg Monroe is a restricted free agent, so Detroit’s best bet is drafting Wiggins or Parker and sliding Josh Smith to the four. Parker brings more offensive firepower and three-point shooting, which the Pistons sorely need. However, a Wiggins/Smith/Drummond front court could be devastating defensively.
Cleveland Cavaliers (1.7%)-Andrew Wiggins
Can Dan Gilbert’s son hit the jackpot again at the NBA Draft Lottery? The Cavs’ biggest need is at small forward so this would solve that issue. Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters are scorers, so I’m not sure there would be enough ball to go around if you add Parker to the mix. Cleveland is also a marginal at best defensive club so adding Wiggins brings some defensive prowess to the floor.
New Orleans Pelicans (1.1%)-Andrew Wiggins
If the Pelicans don’t move into the top four, this pick goes to Philadelphia. Joel Embiid would be a potentially devastating frontcourt partner for Anthony Davis but you’d have to give the edge to Wiggins due to his all-around game and still plentiful upside. Plus, the Hornets don’t have a long-term answer at the three.
Denver Nuggets (0.8%) and (0.7%)-Andrew Wiggins
The Nuggets get the Knicks’ first rounder regardless of where it lands but lose the less favorable of their two first round picks to Orlando. So translation; if they move into the top spot, they keep the pick. In that case, they go with best available and that’s Wiggins. He would add needed defense to the floor but also fit Denver’s up-tempo style of play due to his athleticism and ability to thrive in transition.
Minnesota Timberwolves (0.6%)-Andrew Wiggins
With the Kevin Love trade rumors already heating up, this is going to be an interesting summer for the T-Wolves. Landing the top pick would only add to the drama. Do they try to trade the pick in hopes of landing a veteran who can help the team get over the playoff hump and perhaps keep Love happy? If not, with Nikola Pekovic in the middle, Minnesota doesn’t need Embiid. They have Corey Brewer and Chase Budinger at small forward but Wiggins would be a long-term fix there. Scoring isn’t the issue for Minnesota; defense is. That’s why Wiggins edges out Parker, but just barely. If the Timberwolves do end up trading Love, I’ll switch my pick to Parker since they would need his inside/outside scoring ability.
Phoenix Suns (.5%)-Andrew Wiggins
The Suns were one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season but their pressing off-season need is adding talent on the wing. Wiggins beats out Parker since his ceiling is higher.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Milwaukee to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag), and finished with the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft (nearly a three-peat.) You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.