Will The Cleveland Cavaliers Select a Future Star With The No. 14 Pick In The NBA Draft?

The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the 14th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and if recent history is any indicator, the selection could land the team an impact player.

Fourteen: not exactly a sexy number. You can probably tell me that Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, and Zion Williamson were No. 1 picks. If you’re a serious hoops fan you might know that Jerry West, Isiah Thomas, and Kevin Durant were No. 2’s, or that Michael Jordan was picked No. 3 by the Bulls behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie. That one didn’t turn out well for the Blazers.

Can the Cavaliers get value at No. 14 in the 2022 NBA Draft? Is it possible they can do better at No. 14 than they did with back-to-back No. 1 overall picks in 2013 and 2014? That’s when they picked Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, both of whom were born in Canada, eh? The Cavs packaged the two Canucks in a trade to get Kevin Love, which paid dividends of some sort, for sure. In 2016, Love helped the team win the first pro sports championship in Cleveland in 50 years!

One thing is certain, whoever the Cavs pick at No. 14 on June 23, he’ll play for Cleveland. It’s unlikely the player will opt to go to business school and not even play pro basketball, like the No. 14 pick in the 1955 draft a man named Don Schlundt.

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Best Players Selected 14th In The History Of The NBA Draft

10. Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat in 2017)

Still has to mature, but Bam averaged 19.1 points per game last season and he’s scoring 15-plus in the 2022 Playoffs. He’s no Dwayne Wade, but he’s not Chris Bosh either.

9. T.J. Warren (Phoenix Suns in 2014)

A ball hog, but he can fill the net. So far he’s scored at a clip of 15.5 points per game and topped 19 points per game twice. He played for the Suns for his first five seasons and has been with the Indiana Pacers the last three.

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8. Tree Rollins (Atlanta Hawks in 1977)

Ma and Pa Rollins didn’t call him “Tree.” That was tagged on Wayne Rollins because he grew like a pine. He spent 11 seasons with Atlanta after the Hawks made him the No. 14 pick in the 1977 NBA Draft. Those were the days when a center could average fewer than 10 points and never really learn to pass the ball, as long as he cleaned the glass and blocked some shots. Tree did it well enough to be named to the NBA All-Defensive Team twice.

7. Joe “Jellybean” Bryant (Golden State Warriors in 1975)

Kobe’s dad was ahead of his time a 6’9 small forward who had the ball skills to be a point guard. In eight seasons in the NBA, he averaged less than 10 points, but he was a star overseas for several seasons.

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6. Herb Williams (Indiana Pacers in 1981)

Early in his career in Indiana, Williams shouldered the offense, averaging 19.9 points per game in 1985-86. But his best asset was his muscle down low, where he averaged at least seven rebounds a game for seven seasons.

5. Peja Stojaković (Sacramento Kings in 1996)

Oh, how modern fans would have loved Peja. This guy was 6-10, lean, quick, and he could rain the threes. The former Serbian professional won the three-point shooting contest at the All-Star showcase the first European to do so. His 1,760 three-point field goals ranked 10th all-time when he retired in 2011, after earning his lone NBA championship as a member of the Mavericks.

4. Tim Hardaway (Golden Warriors in 1989)

Hardaway was an excellent guard with a legendary crossover dribble that left defenders stumbling over themselves. Even so, he was often overlooked in an era with many great guards. Still, he was a 5-time All-Star and a 5-time All-NBA selection in 13 seasons. With teammates Tim Richmond and Chris Mullins, Hardaway was part of the famed “Run TMC” trio for the Warriors in the 1990s. But even after he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year, Hardaway was dissed a bit, as when Sports Illustrated ran photos of Tim Hardaway Junior in their story about Tim Sr.

3. Maurice Lucas (Chicago Bulls in 1974)

Asterisk this one a bit: Lucas was picked at No. 14 by the Bulls, but they did not sign him. He chose to play in the ABA instead, for a team called The Spirits of St. Louis. Yes, that is the coolest name of any professional sports franchise ever (sorry Toledo Mud Hens).

Lucas later jumped to the NBA where he was a four-time All-Star and an All-Defensive team member once. He was famous for his toughness, for which Lucas earned the nickname “The Enforcer.” He was integral in the Blazers winning the 1977 NBA title.

2. Dan Majerle (Phoenix Suns in 1988)

After his senior season at Central Michigan University, Majerle was just a swing-forward with a decent outside jumper and a difficult name to pronounce. But, after he was invited to try out for the U.S. National Team and made the roster, Majerle outplayed the bigger name college studs. He was picked 14th by the Suns, who never regretted it.

“Thunder Dan” spent eight seasons in Phoenix, making the All-Star team three times. He’s probably one of the five most popular players to ever wear the orange and purple and still remains in The Valley, where he operates a popular restaurant.

1. Clyde Drexler (Portland Trail Blazers in 1983)

The only future Hall of Famer to be drafted 14th, Drexler has an odd connection to Michael Jordan the No. 2 pick in 1984. The Blazers had the second pick in the 1984 NBA Draft, but they did not pick Jordan because they already had Drexler. At that time the Portland coaching staff pegged Clyde and Jordan as pretty much the same type of players. Oops.

Drexler wasn’t MJ, but he was a helluva player. In 16 seasons he averaged 20/6/5 and was named All-NBA five times and has a place on the league’s 75th-anniversary team.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.