The NBA draft is finally upon us

By Tyler Dixon

Up until a few days ago, the number one pick in tonight’s NBA Draft was locked in, but now it’s a two-man race.

The University of Kansas’s Joel Embiid was set to be the top pick and head to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but a foot injury has hurt Embiid’s draft stock and it’s now down to Duke University’s Jabari Parker and Embiid’s teammate at KU Andrew Wiggins.

The Cavs are split on its decision and it is a tough one. Each player brings a completely different dynamic to a team. One is explosive and one is a workhorse. One of them can dunk from the free-throw line and the other can hit a step-back fade away.

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Wiggins is one of the best players in this draft, but is he the best fit for the Cavs? Cleveland already has plenty of athletes on its roster. Kyrie Irving is getting better every season and Dion Waiters is underrated, but they dropped an egg last year in drafting Anthony Bennett with the number one pick. It’s no surprise the Cavs want LeBron James back in Cleveland. Well maybe not the Cavs, but I think the fans have forgiven him by now.

If James were to go back to Cleveland (which I don’t think he will), then there wouldn’t be a need for Wiggins. They would already have two playmakers on the roster. But, James isn’t going back so this conversation is mute.

The best pick for the Cavs would be Parker. Parker comparable to free agent Carmelo Anthony, they are both bigger bodied players who can make shots. Parker would be a great addition and could help them immediately.

ESPN draft insider Chad Ford has Parker heading to Cleveland in his latest mock draft and has Embiid dropping to the sixth pick.

There are several other teams that could improve in the draft. The Philadelphia 76ers have two picks in the top 10 and have discussed a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, which would send Philly guard Michael Carter-Williams to the Lakers in exchange for their seventh pick. If these moves were done, it would give the 76ers three top 10 picks and a huge opportunity to quickly get better.

Former Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year Doug McDermott is slotted to go ninth to the Charlotte Hornets. It felt really good to type Hornets and not Pelicans. McDermott can do it all, but he’s not flashy. He was the Big East Player of the Year, this season, which gives him three players of the year awards during his college career. He was also the consensus National Player of the Year. McDermott will go down as one of the best college players in the last decade and he will be a prize for any team that drafts him.

Cleanthony Early was possibly the best player on the Wichita State Shockers this season, but he wasn’t even the MVC Player of the Year. Ford has Early going in the second round to the Cavs. Early put on a show at the MVC Tournament. He averaged 16.4 points per game and has the length needed to space the floor.

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The NBA Draft is truly a spectacle. Unlike the NFL Draft, it is only two rounds and all happens in one night. Some names called in the draft have never been heard of because they play internationally, but it doesn’t matter. Every player taken in the draft could be a star for their team or could sit at the end of bench and hand water to the starters.

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