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Report: Cavaliers ‘leaning toward’ selecting Jabari Parker with No. 1 pick in NBA Draft

Jun 21, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT

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The Cavaliers have plenty of options after winning the Draft Lottery for the second consecutive year, although many believe that the injury suffered by Joel Embiid and the subsequent surgery it required have thrown things into a state of chaos.

Embiid would have been a safe choice after Cleveland unsuccessfully gambled on Anthony Bennett with the top pick a season ago, but now with his injury history, that’s no longer the case.

It’s unclear what the Cavs might be thinking at this point, but in a very deep draft, there should be other legitimate options. And reportedly, they’re leaning toward another big man who should pay immediate dividends.

From Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:

With Joel Embiid’s foot surgery, and the reported 4-6 month recovery that comes with it, the Cavs are said to be leaning toward Duke’s Jabari Parker with the No. 1 pick. Parker is more NBA-ready than Andrew Wiggins, who would go to the Bucks at No. 2. Rival executives believe it would be out of character for Cleveland GM David Griffin to trade the top pick, and believe Bucks GM John Hammond would be hard-pressed to deviate from the other consensus top player in the draft after Embiid’s injury shook up the top of the lottery.

Parker then Wiggins seems to be where it’s at in the land of mocks, and it’s difficult to argue for one over the other. Wiggins possesses superior athleticism, but Parker possesses a more immediately useful skill set, which is something that a Cavaliers team determined to make the postseason desperately needs.

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