Photo: Jabari Parker of Duke poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected by the Milwaukee Bucks as the number two overall pick during the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - The top ten have already been selected and have started making their rounds. Commissioner Adam Silver, on stage and in pure NBA fashion, ostentatiously announced and presented each player with the potential for superstardom and NBA immortality to the world one by one.
The big surprise of the 2014 Draft is the selection of small forward Andrew Wiggins who played one stellar year at Kansas. A native of Canada, Wiggins becomes the 11th international player to be drafted first overall. He now joins Anthony Bennett and Kyrie Irving with the Cleveland Cavaliers who are both international players, and selected first overall. Truly a team of top picks and very high expectations.
The announcement of Wiggins over pre-draft favorite Jabari Parker, who was picked second overall by the Milwaukee Bucks, brought down the house at the sellout crowd of fans and prospects’ families alike at the Barclays Center.
Clad in a printed black jacket, and sporting his new Cleveland Cavaliers cap, his first words as the newly crowned No. 1 overall pick – “Surreal… a thousand thoughts are going through my head right now. It’s a dream come true. I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I was a little kid. My dream was just to go to the NBA. Now going to high school and college, the opportunity of going No. 1 came into talk, and now I accomplished that….It doesn’t even feel real right now.”
Asked what he would say to make a pitch for free agent LeBron James to come back to the Cavs, with guarded confidence he stated, “I want to win. If he wants to win, we’d be good together.”
Photo: Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, hugs NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the number one pick in the 2014 NBA draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Here’s a rundown of the top 10:
1 Andrew Wiggins, SF, to Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Jabari Parker, SF, to Milwaukee Bucks
3 Joel Embiid, C, to Philadephia 76ers
4 Aaron Gordon, PF, SF, Orlando Magic
5 Dante Exum, SG, Utah Jazz
6 Marcus Smart, PG, Boston Celtics
7 Julius Randle, PF, Los Angeles Lakers
8 Nik Stauskas, SG, Sacramento Kings
9 Noah Vonleh, PF, Charlotte Hornets
10 Elfrid Payton, PG, Philadelphia 76ers
-Kansas produced two top 5 picks: Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid
-Joel Embiid not in attendance tonight due to stress fracture in his right foot. His 3rd overall selection was also a surprise to the media and scouts due to the prior back surgery and foot injury.
- This is the 3rd time in 4 years that an international player has been selected with the top pick (Kyrie Irving in ’11 and Anthony Bennett in ’13).
- Jabari Parker is the third Duke player with the number two overall pick and the first Duke freshman to lead the team in scoring and rebounding.
- Embiid is the 4th African player drafted in the Top 3.
- Dante Exum is only the 4th player from Australia ever selected in the lottery.
- Commissioner Adam Silver gave a special tribute to Isaiah Austin, PF/C, who was given a special ceremonial draft selection by the NBA. Austin, who was originally prospected to be in the top 10 earlier in the draft lottery, was declared ineligible due to his recent diagnosis of a debilitating genetic disorder of the connective joint tissue (Marfan’s Syndrome).
- Kansas coach John Calipari sat with his former player, Julius Randle. He has been rumored earlier to have been tapped to coach the Los Angeles Lakers.