But because Noel is not considered a dominant player or a presumptive top pick, there remains speculation that the Cavs might take Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr. or Maryland center Alex Len — or consider trading the rights to Noel to Minnesota for Kevin Love. Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore is also considered by some to be worthy of the top pick.
“When was the last time we left the lottery going, ‘I don’t know who they should pick,'” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas told SheridanHoops.com. “Somebody had mentioned when Andrew Bogut got drafted (in 2005), do you take Bogut or Marvin Williams?
“And you really don’t (know). It’s not a no-brainer. It’s something you really have to think about and say, ‘Wait a minute, What’s the right thing here?’ Noel doesn’t have an offensive game and I don’t know if he’ll get it. … It’s one of those weird years where you’re going to have to find the right fit for you, not necessarily the best overall player.”
While the 2013 NBA draft has been called “historically weak” by one GM, the 2014 draft could be historically strong.
We’re talking 2003 strong.
That’s when the first five picks went like this: LeBron James, Darko Milicic, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade. (Who would have thought that three of those five would one day end up playing for the same franchise?)
The 2014 draft is so loaded, one NBA GM said there are half a dozen players in it that would go No. 1 this year.
That group includes a slew of current high school seniors who are headed to campus next season before their (likely) one-and-done seasons end.
Without further ado, here are our top 10 picks for 2014:
1. Andrew Wiggins – Grassroots sneaker guru Sonny Vaccaro told ZAGSBLOG he projects a three-company sneaker war for the 6-7 Wiggins next spring, with Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all battling to sign him.
All Wiggins needs to do to guarantee his payday, Vaccaro said, is to avoid any major injuries or stumbling blocks at Kansas.
“If he doesn’t hurt himself while he’s in college, physically or mentally or whatever, he’s got it locked,” Vaccaro said.
“The only way he could help himself is if they [Kansas] win the national championship.”
Randle, who has been compared to a young Lamar Odom, has all the makings of a future NBA All-Star.
The weekend after Thanksgiving in his senior season, Randle fractured his foot playing in a tournament and missed three months. In March, Randle returned for the TAPPS 5A playoffs and led his team to its third state title in four years.
He was named to SNY’s Preseason All-America Second Team, with Wiggins on the First Team.
3. Aaron Gordon — The Blake Griffin clone pledged to Arizona, choosing Sean Miller’s club over Kentucky, Oregon and Washington.
“It’s an absolutely outstanding fit for me — 7-footer, two large 4-men,” Gordon told the San Jose Mercury News. “They’re long, athletic, get up and down the floor. ”They also have a point guard with T.J. McConnell, and they also have Nick Johnson who can guard anywhere. So with three long defensive players on the wings, I think we’re going to be a hard team to score on.”
More recently, Gordon accepted an invitation to train with the U.S. U19 team that also features his future Arizona teammate, Brandon Ashley.
4. Marcus Smart — The Oklahoma State freshman would have been a lottery pick had he come out this year but surprised many by choosing to remain on campus. He would have been one of the top point guards taken, along with Michigan’s Trey Burke, Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum and Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams, but will now compete with Andrew Harrison and others for the top point guard spot in 2014.
While some critics question anyone who stayed on campus instead of coming out to take advantage of this year’s weak draft, Smart could help his stock by leading OSU on an NCAA Tournament run and proving he is indeed the best floor general in the nation