2014 NBA Draft Exposes Old Team Wounds

Andrew Wiggins
Jun 27 2014 Independence OH USA Cleveland Cavaliers first round pick Andrew Wiggins 21 is introduced by head coach David Blatt left and general manager David Griffin at Cleveland Clinic Courts David Richard USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest nights in professional basketball, the NBA Draft, brought with it a surge of young talent but also old wounds that speak to why the night is considered so important. Though there were winners and losers, each participating team made moves that indicate tired and indicative narratives.

Wiggins Over Bennett

The Cavs went more LeBron James than Anthony Bennett this year by nabbing projected No. 1 Andrew Wiggins. They had to make the safest choice available which, outside of Jabari Parker, was Wreckin’ Ball Wiggins. Mired in disappointment, laughable managerial decisions, team drama, and layers and layers of Andrew Bynum, the Cavs made the right choice but one that conjures the many demons haunting them. If Wiggins is anything short of a LeBron Lite, Cleveland will never recover.

Always Bummy In Philadelphia

For starters, the 76ers are still in the upward spiral known as tanking. In fact, with their Joel Embiid signing, they’ve gladly taken to the practice as a matter of business as usual. Recovering from foot surgery, Embiid will be another case of Nerlens Noel, an injured big man who projects stupendously over the long-term but who doesn’t help with racking up W’s in the short-term. That way, Philly places itself in positions to tank some more. Overall, it’s a matter of self-healing too as the organization is still suffering the burn of putting all their eggs in one basket case. Yes, Andrew Bynum.

And that’s not even mentioning that the 76ers traded away Elfrid Payton for the rights to Dario Saric, a guy who’ll play in Europe for the foreseeable future.

The F Files

Whether Zach LaVine said the F word because of utter disgust or elation at being drafted by the Timberwolves doesn’t matter.

What does? That Minnesota has become the kind of place where this would be a question. Can anyone imagine San Antonio being caught up in the same drama? But when an organization passes up on a chance to give a max deal to a 20-20 nightly threat, has Flip Saunders hire himself as coach (and he also happens to be part-owner), and picks a guy who thinks he’s a point guard when one of your most promising assets is just that, well, you work yourself into said dramas.

The Smart Move?

Rajon Rondo on the trade block is the media’s on again, off again NBA storyline of choice. But the drafting of Marcus Smart at No. 6 might finally add some weight to those rumors. This pretty much suggests that a Rondo trade is confirmed. So, no longer is the Big Three era in Beantown dead, what was left over of the Big Four epoch could be close to dying with it. But, will the Celtics finally giving in to parting with Rondo be what the historic franchise ordered? Or, will his pedigree and on court leadership be missed on a team far greener than its colors?

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