The 2014 NBA Draft went like most people expected: the Cleveland Cavaliers took Andrew Wiggins with the top overall pick, and the Milwaukee Bucks selected Jabari Parker number two. But even if there wasn’t much drama at the top of the show, the rest of Draft night was full of excitement — and surprises.
We run down the big moments and highlights from last night, straight from the floor of the Barclays Center!
Sure, Andrew Wiggins went No. 1, but he wasn’t the player who walked across the stage to a standing ovation. That honor belonged to Baylor center Isaiah Austin. The 7’1” center was a possible first round pick, but he received news this week that a rare heart condition would prevent him from ever playing basketball again. In a classy and heartfelt move, new NBA commissioner Adam Silver made Austin an honorary draft pick and it brought tears to the big man’s eyes as he walked across the stage. (Click here for more on Isaiah Austin’s night at the NBA Draft.)
When No. 11 pick Doug McDermott did his post-draft interview, he was wearing a Denver Nuggets hat. Until, that is, he found out he was being traded. “I can’t wait to take this hat off,” McDermott said. Soon he handed it in for one from the Chicago Bulls, a team that now brings a much-needed outside shooting threat to its roster.
Two-time national champion at UConn Shabazz Napier had to wait longer than expected for his name to be called, but it was worth it in the end. Though he won’t be playing alongside former teammate Kemba Walker (Napier was originally drafted to the Hornets), he will instead be teaming up with LeBron James (maybe) in Miami. It’s no wonder Napier was quick to announce that he had been traded to the Heat—before even the announcers knew it.
You could really flip a coin for this one. Wiggins showed that the flare in his game matches his unique sense of style, as he sported a black and white flower print jacket and black bowtie. But Adreian Payne, who was drafted No. 15 by the Atlanta Hawks, gave Wiggins a run for his money. The former Michigan State center certainly had the most colorful outfit, with his borderline fuchsia-colored pants matching a bowtie that was almost as large as his hands.
Most Excited Fanbase
Our neighbors north of the border did well for themselves with the second Canadian-born No. 1 pick in a row. But it was the Australian fans, out to support No. 5 pick Dante Exum, who proved that Aussie basketball won’t remain down under much longer. A group of Australians came to Barclays Center dressed in full kangaroo costumes. They held up a blow-up kangaroo doll over their heads and chanted across the stadium at other fans waving an Australian flag. Exum didn’t go top-three as many expected, but his fans were elated nonetheless when his name was called.
There were a few of these, including Zach LaVine’s face on the table after being drafted to the Timberwolves, which could have been a sign of excited disbelief or distress. Then there was No. 6 pick Marcus Smart, who flashed the personalized interior of his jacket, which showed a print of his home state of Texas. But Nik Stauskas, one of the bigger surprises at the No. 8 pick, threw up two pairs of three goggles on either side of his head when his name was called. Only fitting for the man from Michigan who will bring his incredible three-point shooting abilities to the Kings.
Photos: Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images, Mike Stobe/Getty Images