The stage at the NBA Draft in Brooklyn was painted red and white on Thursday as an abundance of Canadians were drafted. For the second season in a row, the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted a Canadian small forward first overall. Compared to last season, this selection was a little more respected, as Andrew Wiggins should have a long prosperous career in the NBA.
No disrespect to Anthony Bennett, who should eventually develop into a regular starter in the NBA, but the potential of Andrew Wiggins, is much higher and his athleticism is uncanny. Depending if the Cavs re-sign Luol Deng or not, Wiggins should be able to step in and be a regular starter and challenge Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and few other studs for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
This year’s draft was quite interesting because of the International players who were drafted. Australian Point guard Dante Exum slowly turned into a great prospect as he was taken as a top-five pick in this draft. The Raptors went off the board and instead of drafting the two-time National Champion Shabazz Napier, they went with the “Brazilian Kevin Durant” in Bruno Caboclo. His wingspan is incredible at 7’7, and he was the Brazilian League MVP, but he hasn’t proved anything at University so there is a lot of skepticism here. He is scheduled to be in the everyday line up for the Raptors in the 2014-15 season and it’s only June, so that mean’s something. Hopefully the Raptors found a diamond in the rough instead of another international bust (ie. Rafael Araujo).
The two historic franchises that never seem to find their way into the lower part of the draft definitely improved as the Celtics and Lakers both picked up solid players. The Lakers drafted Julius Randle who was busting through double and triple teams all season in Kentucky, but injuries to his foot dropped his stock a bit.
The Celtics had two draft picks in the first round, thanks to that masterpiece Brooklyn trade last draft that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the retirement home in Brooklyn. Boston didn’t disappoint with those draft picks, drafting Marcus Smart and James Young. Both the Celtics and Lakers improved this draft and depending on cap space, they are always a great destination for free agents and will definitely continue to upgrade leading up the season.
Other Canadians: Nik Staukas was a surprise pick so early in the draft as he was selected with the 8th pick by Sacramento. The Kings have been nowhere to be found since the Vlade Divac and Chris Weber days, so hopefully Staukas can help fill the void, playing beside Rudy Gay.
Tyler Ennis looked to be destined for the Toronto Raptors, but was stolen away by the Charlotte Hornets with the 18th pick in the draft. Ennis is a smooth point guard with great vision and will be a good player in the NBA. Depending on what happens with Kyle Lowry in Toronto, Ennis would have been a good pickup to replace Lowry if he left.
Trades: Chicago made a great trade with Denver to pick up one of the highest scoring players in NCAA history,, Doug McDermott. He will help spread the floor for a Bulls team that is desperate for scoring, and if the Bulls sign Carmelo Anthony (as expected), they will be a major threat in the Eastern Conference.
NBA Draft night is never the most glamorous night to be an NBA fan, but it is always the most interesting. From LeBron’s “Godfather deal” that brought Shabazz Napier to Miami to Andrew Wiggin’s colourful suit, these few hours on Draft night definitely produce a lot interesting scenarios that will hopefully unfold during the dog days of summer.
Photo credit to espn.com