Sponsored by BigLetDown. When you’re hyped up, we bring you crashing back to Earth.
The 2014 NBA Draft was the most hyped up draft in recent memory.
Of course, after the abomination of the 2013 draft, that saw Anthony Bennett taken number one and the rookie of the year award handed to Michael Carter Williams simply because he sucked the least of all rookies, who could blame the hype.
We were about to witness the next big three rookies, the next since LeBron, Wade and Carmelo all came in in 2003. I guess you could include Bosh in that. So it’s LeBron, Wade, Carmelo and Bosh vs. Wiggins, Parker, Embiid and I guess Exum? Sure why not.
Wiggins was already being looked to as a franchise savor. The next LeBron. The next All-Star talent that was going to take the NBA by storm. Embiid was quickly, almost overnight, becoming the best center ever without having even played five years of basketball. Yup, this draft promised great things.
Then there was the week leading up to yesterday in which all hell broke lose and rumors started flying around like headless chickens that could magically fly! The Timberwolves were looking to trade away their All-Star big man Kevin Love during the draft. The Celtics, Warriors, Bulls, Knicks, Lakers, you name it, were all giving offers right and left for Love’s services. Love even said that if he wasn’t moved during the draft, he’d just play out his contract in Minnesota.
The Cavaliers had an identity crisis and played the spoiled child, who after winning the number 1 pick for the third time in four years in the year of arguably the best draft since LeBron, wanted to get rid of the hot potato. They couldn’t take the heat and were desperately trying to get the fuck out of the kitchen.
Then Embiid got hurt and suddenly, the future best center ever was falling down draft boards. Teams were scared now to take him, he wasn’t the obvious number one choice anymore. We were going to sit back and witness the meteor of Embiid’s draft stock come crashing right into the laps of the Celtics. This was going to be Johnny Football level’s of plummeting.
The week leading to the draft promised all of this. And what did it deliver? Absolute shit. This draft wasn’t the insane roller coaster that had been promised or that I was waiting for. Instead it ran smoothly, with no major upsets, no giant NBA altering trades, no player sitting in the greenroom slowly looking more and more likely to murder everyone in there. This draft had none of that. Man, NBA missed out big time.
But now that’s all over.
Now you are left with my random draft thoughts throughout the night. Whose excited? We all know Bill Simmons is.
No. 1 PICK: ANDREW WIGGINS. For the second time in their miserable existence, the Cleveland Cavaliers made the right pick. They took Wiggins. Could have taken Parker. Could have taken a broken Embiid. Could have shocked the world and drafted Aaron Gordon. But no. Cavs made the right pick and took the player that could drastically change the NBA. So they get big points for that.
No. 2 PICK: JABARI PARKER. This was a win win for both sides. Parker was eating a gallon of ice cream in the greenroom just trying to avoid Cleveland. And it worked! Win for Milwaukee since they now have a player some people would pay to see.
No. 3 PICK: JOEL EMBIID. So I have discovered how to become a 76er. Step one: play center. Step two: play defense really well. Step three: get injured just before the draft. BOOM! You just got drafted! Congrats!
After taking the injured Noel last year – and having the broken Andrew Bynum on their bench the year before – the Sixers again strive for mediocrity and draft the broken Embiid. Perfect. Sixers’ fans, get ready to see this every game (that’s your center of the future on the bench FYI):
No. 4 PICK: AARON GORDON. Woo. First surprise of the night.
No. 6 PICK: MARCUS SMART. Love this pick for the Celtics. He is a big strong body guard who can put the ball on the floor and score. He can play the two and in fact, pairing him with Rondo could be a terror for opposing backcourts. So don’t get any ideas about what this means for Rondo’s future with the C’s.
Smart also can step right in and play which is huge for the C’s who need to get better now rather than later. Just watching his highlight tapes get me so tricking pumped to see him in green.
No. 7 PICK: JULIUS RANDLE. I feel like this guy is going to make everyone in the NBA pay for not taking him. And of course I’m going to hate him for doing in in the purple and gold.
No. 8 PICK: NICK STAUSKAS. Winner of life award.
No. 10 PICK: ELFRID PAYTON. Winner of best hair award.
No. 11 PICK: DOUG McDERMOTT. This kid is going to do work in Chicago. Mark my words. Bulls need a long ranger shooter and that’s what Doug is. As depressing as it sounds, probably the biggest trade of the night. SCREW YOU NBA DRAFT FOR BEING BORING!
No. 13 PICK: ZACH LaVINE.
Read this boy’s lips. “Fuck Me” indeed. We all know the T-Wovles suck dude, but you did just get drafted into the NBA and are going to be making bank. You could try a little harder to look excited.
ISAIAH AUSTIN. This was just a great moment. Normally I find these things sappy or just awkward but this was perfect. Classy move by Adam Silver to bring up Austin onto the stage and give him the honor he worked all his life for. 100% rooting for this guy.
No. 17 PICK: JAMES YOUNG. The Celtics just continue to get younger and I love it. I also love this dunk. WHO CAN’T WAIT FOR NEXT SEASON!?
No. 20 PICK: BRUNO CABOCLO. How can the Raptors fail in drafting the Brazilian Kevin Durant!? This seems like a home run pick to me, if Raptors fans are ok waiting five years before Caboclo even sets foot on an NBA court. Get them jerseys ready.
ITS BRUNO TIME!
No. 24 PICK: SHABAZZ NAPIER. Winner: Napier. Loser: the Heat when this doesn’t bring LeBron back.
Somewhere LeBron’s quietly cackling. God I just really really hate the Heat.
No. 30 PICK: KYLE ANDERSON. The Spurs do it again. Seriously, this team will never be bad. It’s just a fact. They draft well and pick good players who love the game. Well done Pop and Co.
Final word: NBA, don’t promise nonstop action if you can’t produce it on draft night. But all in all, not a bad draft. I’m already for free agency baby!
Cover photo credit: usatoday.com