Looking Back On The 2014 NBA Draft's First Round

The 2014 NBA Draft is in the books. Unlike the 2013 Draft, where surprises were happening at every turn, this year's group went relatively according to what the Mock Drafts suggested.
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Megan Schuster
Web Editorial Associate

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Compared to the first round of the 2013, there weren’t too many surprises in this year’s NBA Draft.

Starting right away at the top, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker were a virtual one-two lock, with the only debate surrounding the order they would go. Many people looking at this draft believed Wiggins was one of the most athletic options, and potentially had more of an upside than Parker.

Parker was thought of as a well-established, safe pick in that he played under Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski and is already very developed mentally and physically. He looks to be a good fit in Milwaukee, and judging from the Twitter reaction, Bucks fans are happy to have him.

The third and fourth picks probably brought up the most controversy, with the injured Joel Embiid being taken at No. 3 (which was questioned because of Embiid’s foot and back injuries) and Aaron Gordon of Arizona at No. 4.

Though Embiid was projected as a top-3 pick the last few months, after his foot injury and a history of nagging injuries among big men, many draft analysts had him falling out of the top-3—some even out of the top-5.

Apparently Philadelphia believed he was worth the risk, and that his potential would help their team once he’s back healthy.

Aaron Gordon was another surprise. He’s an athletic forward out of Arizona, but most mock drafts did not have him in the top-5 picks. At only 18-years-old, Gordon was projected to go around the 6-8 range, not as high as number four.

Aside from Embiid and Gordon, most picks were as expected. Nik Stauskas out of Michigan and Doug McDermott from Creighton were both highly-touted sharp shooters coming into the draft. Neither was expected to fall far, and they lived up to the hype—Stauskas went eighth overall to the Utah Jazz, and McDermott 11th to the Denver Nuggets, though he would later be traded to the Chicago Bulls.

Overall, after many trade rumors, speculations and ideas about how things could shake out for many teams, most stuck to their guns and decided to keep their standings.

In a draft that many experts believe to be one of the deepest in years, there were a lot of extremely talented players left on the board, even at the start of the second round.