We are now less than a week away from the 2014 NBA Draft, and yesterday, there was some really big news that broke that can dramatically effect the way things play out next week.
News broke early Thursday morning, that former Kansas big man, Joel Embiid, had a stress fracture in his foot, and would undergo surgery on Friday morning. Where Embiid was highly considered by most to be the number one overall pick in the draft. Now with the probability that Embiid could miss the entire upcoming season, there will more than likely be a change at the top of the mock drafts, as well as the actual draft.
Our last mock draft had Embiid going number one. Here is what it looks like after the Embiid foot injury news.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins
There was rumors floating around Thursday night that the Jazz and Cavaliers had talked about a potential trade so that the Jazz would obtain the number one overall pick. I’m sure that every team has called the Cavaliers about a potential trade, but the Jazz in particular could be a long shot to get this done. With Embiid injured and possibly out for the year, the Cavaliers should look hard at Wiggins who can help out immediately on both ends of the court. There is also word that the Cavaliers are looking at bringing in Dante Exum for a workout this week. He could also be another option that Cleveland could seriously consider.
Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker
Chad Ford of ESPN proposed a Jazz trade to move up to the second overall spot in the draft. That trade, like the Cavaliers trade, was centered around Derrick Favors. The proposed trade was Favors and the fifth pick to Milwaukee, for Larry Sanders and the second pick. The more I look at the proposed trade, the more I like the trade. However, it would be really difficult to see Favors go. With that said, I also think the Bucks will stand pat with their pick. When they do stand pat, they will be looking for a guy who can come in and immediately score the basketball. Parker is a guy who should be able to do that. Milwaukee could use a spark to help put people in the seats, and Parker might be the start of something there.
Philadelphia 76ers – Dante Exum
It is a well known fact that the Sixers want to have Wiggins land in Philadelphia. However, after the news of Embiid’s injury, I don’t see that being possible without them trading up to the top spot. Even if the Sixers were to trade up to the top spot, I’m not sure they have enough assets to make it happen. If they stay at three, drafting Exum to play alongside Michael Carter-Williams could potentially turn in to a deadly back court combination. The Sixers also have another pick at number ten, so they could end up getting two quality players to add to their young core.
Orlando Magic – Marcus Smart
The Magic are in need of a point guard, and with Exum off the board they turn their attention to Smart. Adding a point guard to play alongside Victor Oladipo could potentially help the Magic dramatically. They have a very solid big man in Nikola Vucevic, and if they can get Oladipo some back court help, it will definitely help. They could consider going with Embiid here and let him rehab for the year, but I think they are looking more for immediate help.
Utah Jazz – Aaron Gordon
Most fans will probably look at this and say, “if Embiid is sitting on the board at five, how on earth can you pass on him?” Well, to be honest, I am extremely worried that Embiid will turn into a bust in the NBA now. He has not been playing basketball for more than four years, and already has had three major injuries. This last season at Kansas, he played a total of 28 games, and then went to one pre-draft workout, and has already had two of those injuries occur. Embiid could turn into a bust because of the fact he could always be injured during his career. If that turns out to be the case, why not go for a guy like Gordon who is extremely explosive and athletic, as well as a great defensive player. I think the Jazz, and Jazz fans, will regret it if the Jazz pass on him, but that is just my speculation.
Not much explanation on picks six through ten, but here is how I see things playing out there.
Boston Celtics – Joel Embiid
The Celtics are in a complete rebuild mode, and they might take a chance on Embiid and let him heal up for the year. By doing this, we will more than likely see the Celtics back in the lottery next season, but it could potentially be a good thing for them as they could use big man help, and the projected lottery picks in 2015 are mainly big men.
Los Angeles Lakers – Julius Randle
The Lakers aren’t used to seeing themselves in the lottery, but while they’re here, they will be looking to add a strong piece. Not many players in this draft are stronger than Randle. It’s possible that Randle could turn into a future All-Star, and that is something the Lakers are used to seeing on their roster.
Sacramento Kings – Doug McDermott
Sacramento could use all the help they can get in the scoring department, so why not add one of the nation’s best scorers? McDermott won the College Player of the Year honors and averaged 26.7 points per game. He is a big bodied small forward that would fit in well with the Kings and take a little pressure off of Demarcus Cousins.
Charlotte Hornets – Nik Stauskas
Stauskas has been climbing higher and higher up many people’s draft boards. The climb is mainly due to his three point shooting ability. The Hornets will be happy to take him, as they really needed some scorers outside of Al Jefferson in the playoffs.
Philadelphia 76ers – Noah Vonleh
Every year, there is one player who ends up getting drafted much lower than what the “experts” had predicted. Vonleh, to me, could be that guy. He is extremely raw and will take quite a bit of time to develop. With the Sixers passing on Embiid at three, they can go big man here, and they would be happy to take a guy who was a projected top five pick when they pick at ten.