- Chad Ford, Senior Writer, NBA Insider
During the 2013 NBA draft, fans and draft reporters alike sat waiting, wondering who the Cleveland Cavaliers would take with the No. 1 pick.
When Anthony Bennett's name was announced, an already odd draft got just a little odder. Six players had been mentioned as possible No. 1 picks. Nerlens Noel and Alex Len got the most publicity, but Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter, Ben McLemore and Bennett all had a shot.
It was the most wide-open draft I've ever been a part of and generated an enormous amount of both curiosity and angst in the days leading up to the draft.
This year, it was supposed to be easy.
Andrew Wiggins, the most hyped freshman to come into college basketball since Greg Oden and Kevin Durant in 2007, was to be quickly anointed as the next NBA superstar.
But a funny thing happened over the summer. More and more scouts started to hedge. Wiggins had yet to play a game. He wasn't doing anything particularly wrong (despite a few reports that he wasn't practicing or scrimmaging as hard as he could). What happened was Julius Randle, Jabari Parker and a little-known prospect from Australia, Dante Exum, all having the summers (and early falls) of their lives.
By tipoff night on Nov. 8, the unanimity surrounding Wiggins was waning. Minutes after the Champions Classic in Chicago on Nov. 12, the consensus was obliterated.
Now the hottest question in front offices around the NBA?
Who do you take No. 1?
Front offices faced a similar question in the past draft, but with a very different tone. In 2013, no one looked like a worthy No. 1 pick in the draft. This season, four players appear to be in strong consideration for that spot.
Over the past week, Insider talked to multiple scouts or executives from almost every team in the NBA in an effort to determine what they would do with the No. 1 pick. While most NBA scouts and GMs initially were inclined to take a wait-and-see attitude and use rankings like "1A" and "1B", I kept pressing. If the draft were held today (which thankfully it is not) who would go No. 1?
Here's what I learned:
Those involved in informing the choices of the decision-makers weigh in on likely No. 1