Pick your poison: Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker

Pick your poison: Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker
July 11, 2014, 10:00 pm
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LAS VEGAS -- So many people turned out at Cox Pavilion to see the top two picks of the 2014 NBA draft -- Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker -- go head-to-head that hundreds, if not well more than a thousand, had to be turned away Friday.

It was a standing-room only crowd, some of whom who had to be removed because the overflow from the stands crowded the exits, that saw the Wiggins' Cleveland Cavaliers win 70-68 vs. the Milwaukee Bucks, who took Parker No. 2 overall.

Wiggins led all scorers with 18 points, but Parker was more efficient with 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting and nine rebounds. Wiggins was 7-for-18, including just 1-for-8 from three-point range, with only three rebounds.

It's just summer league with players who are mostly unfamiliar with each other, so these games are hardly an indication of the ceiling for either player. Nor should it be an indictment. But it was a satisfying glimpse. 

In the second quarter is when the flurry began between the two. Wiggins made a backdoor cut from a thunderous dunk to cut Milwaukee's lead to 25-24. Parker responded with consecutive buckets on amazingly acrobatic plays. He put the ball on the floor, made a pivot, took the contact and scored on a floater in traffic. Wiggins took contact from Giannis Antetokounmpo for a finish. Parker answered with a layup off a strong drive, also using the dribble and a soft touch.

Wiggins stepped inside the three-point line and using a hesitation dribble buried a lane jumper to tie the score at 35. Parker created for JaJuan Johnson who finished off a pass with a dunk.

While Parker appeared to be the more versatile of the two -- more LeBron James-like, that is --  its easy to see how Wiggins can excel with the Cavaliers. He's more likely to be the more explosive scorer. 

James announced that he's returning to his hometown team, making the Cavaliers an instant contender to come out of the East. Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick overall in 2013, looked in shape and ready to erase a terrible rookie season. He had 15 points and seven rebounds.The Wizards will have competition from them and the Miami Heat, James' former team, which was able to retain Chris Bosh. 

[RELATED: Lebron James headed home to Cleveland]

Otto Porter, in his second season after practice with the Wizards earlier in the day here, realizes the East got much tougher as the talent has spread. The Wizards, who play the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, don't play the Cavs or Bucks during pool play for summer league. 

"Changes the whole league. It’s going to be more competition," Porter said. "It’s going to be way better. I’m happy for LeBron to go back home and things like that. A whole bunch of trades are happening so this year should be interesting."

Said Wiggins of James' decision: "I was happy. You should be happy with the best player coming to your team. It's going to be a great experience for me playing with the best in the game."