The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Kansas shooting guard/small forward Andrew Wiggins with the first pick in the NBA Draft. The Canadian player–the second year in a row that Cleveland has taken a Great White North product first–averaged 17.1 points a game as a Jayhawks freshman this past season.
“We had some really spirited debate about trade options,” Cleveland general manager David Griffin told ESPN about the delay in announcing the pick. “All of our scouts thought he had the most upside.” Wiggins was the first of three foreign-born players selected in the first ten picks.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who finished with an NBA worst fifteen wins this season, selected Duke’s Jabari Parker with the second selection. Joel Embiid fell to Philadelphia in the the third spot. Experts pegged Wiggins’ Kansas teammate as a likely first pick until the center from Cameroon succumbed to surgery on his foot. Embiid likely won’t appear in a 76ers uniform until midway through the season.
The Orlando Magic selected Arizona’s Aaron Gordon next. Australian point guard Dante Exum went to Utah at five. The Boston Celtics selected Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart, who pushed an overzealous Texas Tech fan this season, with the sixth pick. The Los Angeles Lakers grabbed University of Kentucky power forward Julius Randle in the seventh spot. Randle vowed to ESPN, “The teams who passed on me will regret it.”
The Sacramento Kings took Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas at eight. Like Wiggins, Stauskas calls Canada home. The Charlotte Hornets selected Indiana Hoosiers power forward Noah Vonleh in the nine spot. The Philadelphia 76ers selected point guard Elfrid Payton with their second top-ten selection.
Top pick Wiggins raised eyebrows by showing up to the draft in an outrageous, tight-fitting tuxedo. Cleveland’s GM confessed, “I almost changed my mind when I saw it.”