In just over 24 hours, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have to decide just what to do with their No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. According to reports, though, they’re struggling with whether to take Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker.
“They are torn,” an unnamed source told ESPN.com. “They met for three hours, and all they talked about was those two guys.”
They have not, another source told ESPN, reached a decision with Chad Ford reporting that owner Dan Gilbert wants Wiggins and the front office wants Parker.
Joel Embiid, the Kansas center, was the most likely choice to be the No. 1 pick until he underwent foot surgery for a stress fracture, an injury that, coupled with back problems, has caused his stock to drop. Wiggins, the 6-8 Kansas guard, and Parker, Duke’s 6-8 forward, worked out for the Cavs, with Wiggins leaving the better impression.
“You can’t base everything on one one-on-none workout,” a source told ESPN, “but Wiggins was great and Jabari wasn’t. It makes an impact. It makes you go back and reassess everything you saw during the year.”
Wiggins has been quietly ascending. “I know I can never live up to expectations,” he said recently (via USA Today). “I try to set goals for myself and achieve those goals. I just want to be the best player I can be to be successful. I think the NBA is much more my style, but I’m going to be patient. I think right away my defense can be my X factor.”
It helps that Wiggins brings maturity to the mix, too. His father, Mitchell, played in the NBA and his mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, was an Olympic sprinter.
“That media glare has been there since he was 14, and then he was called the next LeBron James,” Mitchell Wiggins told USA Today. “I told him, ‘No one can judge you with how good you can be until you have those three letters on, and that’s N, B, A.’”