Now that the NBA season has officially ended, the offseason draft talk will immediately kick into high gear. Mock drafts and analysis from every “Joe Schmo” known to man will have their say and break down every aspect of potential picks, and explain to the viewing public why a certain player should and should not be picked. With only ten days until the 2014 NBA Draft, it is now time to let the talking heads out of their cages, and let all of the blowhards give their “expert” opinions.
For the most part, the NBA Draft has become a coin toss and like most years, this class is filled with a number of high-talent prospects, but no sure bet. Everyone is always looking for the next “LeBron,” or the next “Michael Jordan,” but in the end players rarely ever live up to the hype and the potential. There will be no clear cut winner this year on draft day, and teams will have to wait a year or two to see if they made the right decision. It is not to say that some of the players cannot emerge as future stars in the league, and could one day make it to the Hall of Fame, but to say that one single player is shoulders above the others would be a major overstatement.
Mock NBA Draft boards have proven to be about as silly as snow-shoes in the Mojave Desert, so reading too much into them is mostly a major waste of time. Sure, they can give fans an idea of who GMs and scouts are highly interested in, but in the end, nobody is certain who will be chosen. Right now, the three players with the best odds at being chosen first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers are Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker. Any one of these players would be a solid pick, as would players like Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh and Naismith award winner Doug McDermott from Creighton.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have made a name for themselves by making a series of off-the-wall picks with their draft picks, which include last year’s first overall selection, Anthony Bennett. Perhaps the Cavaliers should try not to get too fancy and overthink their selection, and go with one of the players listed above. Any of them can turn into major superstars, while on the flip side, any of them could turn into the next NBA bust. It is a crap shoot, and anyone who believes that it is more than that is just fooling themselves. Andrew Wiggins was the golden boy before he ever stepped foot onto a college campus, while Jabari Parker was the golden boy prior to Wiggins taking the crown. Then, half way through the collegiate season, Joel Embiid began to draw praise for his similarities to the great Hakeem Olajuwon. It is constantly changing, and depending on the time of the year, or which week it is, the name at the top of the list is like a revolving door of possibilities.
The NBA draft talk will kick into high gear in the next ten days, and while fans become inundated with every minute stat known to man, they must remember that luck will play a huge role in the success of their team’s pick. Scouts can critique every aspect of a player’s game, but nobody ever knows how talent, potential talent, the willingness to learn, and the speed in which a player improves will take place. Until a player takes his place onto the hardwood of an NBA floor, he is just a name next to a very large sum of money, and a dream in the eyes of star-struck fanatics.
Commentary by Johnny Caito