When the Cavaliers were finished scouting a talent-thin 2013 draft class, they weren’t quite as enamored with Victor Oladipo as other teams. The Cavs saw an athletic kid who played really hard, but they couldn’t define a discernible skill.
Now that the focus has shifted to a talent-rich 2014 class, some of the same whispers are surfacing about Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins — at least the parts about his athleticism and the lack of a discernible skill.
Wiggins, by all accounts, is a much higher regarded prospect with a brighter future than Oladipo. But a lot of that is based on his jaw-dropping athleticism. The rest remains a bit of a mystery.
“What scares you is he’s fairly raw and doesn’t have a definable piece,” said one league executive who has done extensive scouting on Wiggins. “You don’t know exactly what his game is yet. He’s raw. He’s gotten by on straight-line athleticism that’s freakish.”
As the Cavaliers gathered Tuesday for more deliberations and debate, they still hadn’t reached a consensus on whom to select with the No. 1 overall pick, one league source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said.
The hope within the organization is that it won’t be a last-second decision. For now, the Cavs hold the No. 1 pick for the second consecutive year, and much like last year, they’re torn on whom to take.
Before Joel Embiid’s foot injury, he was the clear choice at No. 1. After watching his postseason workouts, one source labeled him as the only transcendent player in this draft. Now all of it is in question because of a foot injury that could force Embiid to miss his entire rookie season. One league executive with knowledge of Embiid’s condition believes it’s possible Embiid won’t play at all next season, regardless of the initial four- to six-month timeline established following his surgery.
That has returned the Cavs to choosing between Parker and Wiggins. Both are flawed, but both also have components that intrigue teams.
Parker showed up heavy to his workout for the Cavs, and one source with knowledge of the day’s events said the Duke star hasn’t seemed overly eager to go No. 1 in this draft. But there is also some concern over Wiggins and what type of player he’ll ultimately become — particularly since he isn’t even credited with having as high of a motor as Oladipo.
“He runs and jumps better than everyone else,” the same league executive who has scouted Wiggins extensively said. “That’s what you like, but it’s also what scares you. When you can’t run and jump better than everyone else, now what?”
Interest in the pick has slowed since Embiid’s injury was revealed, one source said, and while a trade down is still possible, the belief now is the Cavs will stay at No. 1 and choose between Wiggins and Parker.
Wiggins shot 34 percent from 3-point range and Parker shot 36 percent. Wiggins also got to the line more often and made a higher percentage of his free throws, yet Parker is widely viewed as having a more polished offensive game and ready to contribute immediately offensively.
Despite his problems defensively — Parker played in the post a lot at Duke and wasn’t asked to do much on the defensive end — the Cavs are confident he can handle the small forward position in the NBA.
“His game translates,” one source said. “But he’s also not the upside guy Wiggins is.”
Jason Lloyd can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.