The Cavaliers have been on the clock since winning the Draft Lottery and securing the number one overall pick, but with the big night quickly approaching, the team still has not made a decision.
Joel Embiid was the one initially targeted, before a foot injury that required surgery threw a wrench into the machine behind that choice. Cleveland then was reportedly leaning toward Jabari Parker, but with Andrew Wiggins being equally tempting, things are apparently still very much in a state of flux.
From Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford of ESPN.com:
Just two days before the NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers are split on whether to take Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins with the top overall pick, multiple sources told ESPN.com.
“They are torn,” one source close to the situation told ESPN.com. “They met for three hours, and all they talked about was those two guys.”
Added another industry source: “They haven’t come to a decision yet.”
Cleveland general manager David Griffin had decided to choose 7-footer Joel Embiid with the No. 1 pick, sources told ESPN.com. However, that changed when it was discovered that Embiid needed surgery on his foot that could sideline him for much — if not his entire — rookie season.
The Cavaliers can’t afford to take chances this time around, after going with an unconventional selection in Anthony Bennett with the draft’s top pick a season ago. Parker and Wiggins are both projected to be stellar in the NBA, with the former appearing to be more ready to contribute immediately, and the latter having a potentially higher ceiling.
Just how far Embiid ends up falling is much more interesting than who Cleveland selects, as long as it’s one of these two prospects.