Here’s The 6 Takeaways From the 2014 NBA Draft: Because Adam Silver’s The Real MVPBasketball, Furious Stylez — By Esau Howard on June 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm
Months of speculation were finally brought to an end, and honestly I wish the NBA season was starting next week. Fortunately, we’ll have summer league and plenty of time to ponder what will become of this 2014 class. Last night was an event that lived up to the hype, and in addition to the draft itself it was very honorable and heartfelt of the NBA to allow Isaiah Austin to embrace the moment he’s prepared so long for. Not a bad start for Adam Silver at all.
Sit back and relax as we give you the six important takeaways from the madness that was the 2014 NBA Draft. Because we almost cried when…
Isaiah Austin heard his name called in the draft
Just days after having his world drastically altered, watching the NBA give Isaiah Austin his just due was probably the best moment of the night. It was heartfelt and just an all out class act on the part of Adam Silver. The NBA didn’t have to acknowledge the tragic story surrounding the end of Austin’s professional career, but by doing so they showed an emphatic side. Calling his name on behalf of the NBA was something that will undoubtedly be remembered years from now when looking back on this class and it was moving to watch on our televisions. Just watching Austin with his mother hear his introduction before he took his turn on the stage was enough to tug at the emotional heart strings. We wish nothing but the best for that man and his future.
Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker destinies will forever be entwined
Now that the draft is over and the two highly sought after picks have taken their places on their respective teams, expect to see this “hyped” rivalry actually develop into one over time. They spent an entire year being pitted against each other in college, and now NBA enthusiasts have a legitimate case at making this a match-up for the next several years. With Wiggins headed for Cleveland and Jabari taking his services to Milwaukee, the two are now division rivals on teams that are looking to dramatically change their franchises recent misfortunes. They’ll face each other at least four times a season, and as they develop into the pros that everyone expects them to, this could be the start of something truly epic. Conspiracy theories aside, this is one lottery pairing that benefits anyone that enjoys the NBA.
Sam Hinkie has the most flexible job security in the NBA
Despite the rumors and smokescreens on what the 76ers were going to do with the 3rd overall pick, in the end they went with the best talent available. With all of the red flags surrounding Joel Embiid, the pick seemed like a panic move at first, but that’s only a first reaction. The Sixers pretty much revealed their plan for the next couple of seasons last night by showing the world that they are in no rush to win now. The Sam Hinkie strategy is a slow grind to the top, and whatever pitch he’s sold the owners of the Sixers has been paying off. Most teams want players that can actively help that team win as soon as possible, but Hinkie has convinced his fellow front office brass and fans to buy into his vision.
If Embiid is even half the player he was expected to be prior to his foot injury, then the Sixers may have landed the scariest pick in the draft. Daro Saric is a guy they won’t have to pay for two years and will likely be closer to his prime when he does come to the NBA. Something tells me Brett Brown approves highly of that pick, and the additions of K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant are instant upgrades over anything the Sixers ended the season with. Scoring will be tough, but Hinkie isn’t worried about putting numbers on the board yet. What his vision ultimately forms into remains to be seen, but it looks like Hinkie has all the time in the world to bring it to life.
The power of LeBron is something else indeed
Ok, I don’t actually know how much influence LeBron James had over the Miami Heat’s draft process. However, it’s pretty cool to see that the second he mentions how highly he thought of Shabazz Napier, the UConn point guard found himself being traded from the Hornets to the favorable weather of South Beach. It’s probably not a reach to think that Pat Riley consulted with Bron about their options prior to the draft, but believing that his tweet of approval was the magical trigger is a far more interesting story to run with.
My favorite player in the draft! #Napier
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 27, 2014
The Boston Celtics are moving forward… and Rondo is probably the odd man out
It’s no secret that the Boston Celtics have reportedly tried to auction off Rajon Rondo in the past as rumors have been surrounding his status with the Celtics since the “Big 3” was completely intact. Danny Ainge moves in silence, but his actions always speak louder than words. The drafting of Marcus Smart means that backcourt is awfully crowded with two quality point guards on a rebuilding team. Rondo has the edge by every measure, but with his free agency pending next year his days in Boston look to be numbered. Especially after the Celtics drafted James Young with the 17th pick, thus providing Smart with a running mate of the future. This particular storyline is only going to more intriguing as the season approaches and teams in need of an elite floor general will start calling Boston.
The depth of this draft might have been severely underrated
The surplus of talent in this draft has been talked about for almost an entire year now, but I’m not sure anyone really understood just how many quality players were on the board. If a team that drafted couldn’t find a a worthy prospect to fill a need for them then they need to re-evaluate their respective GM’s immediately. The Phoenix Suns added even more youth and complimentary pieces with T.J. Warren and Tyler Ennis. The Charlotte Hornets continue to do nothing but impressive things with their re-branding, and P.J. Hairston provides them with the most NBA ready game out of all those drafted. Even the Knicks and Nets who didn’t even have picks a week ago were able to swindle their way into the draft. Both teams walked away with a pair of intriguing prospects, with the Knicks possibly having the biggest steal of the night. Cleanthony Early is a player many thought could have went in the lottery, but certainly in the first round only for the Knicks to grab him early in the second.
The second round is usually filled with prospects that will eventually be assigned to D-League roles or shipped overseas, but it’s possible that many of these players will be competing for rotation minutes immediately. If everything pans out this draft might go down as one of the greatest. A career is hard to predict, but 20 years from now I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few hall of famer’s, all stars, and an abundance of solid role players emerge from this class.