2014 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: How far does Embiid drop? (31 items)
We divided up the NBA's six divisions among the six writers. We drafted over the course of three days using email. Here's how it went down and why. Did we make the right picks? Let us know in the comments section.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, you're on the clock.
1 of 31. 1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas
Last week's stunning news of Joel Embiid's broken bone in his foot and resulting surgery has thrown a huge monkey wrench into the NBA Draft.
It looks like the Cavs have been scared off so they will have their choice between two of the most hyped prospects since LeBron James — Jabari Parker and Wiggins. Luckily for them, either choice will benefit their team in a big way.
While Parker is the more NBA-ready player right now and more polished on the offensive side of the ball, Wiggins is by far the better defender, and that combined with his athleticism, gives him the greatest potential.
If Wiggins does live up to his full potential then his jersey may just be hanging in the rafters of the Quicken Loans Arena when his career is over.
— Mitch Kunzler & Aaron Morton
2 of 31. 2. Milwaukee Bucks
Sorry, Jazz fans.
Landing Parker would be ideal for the Bucks. He's a sure thing, good-character guy the Bucks are looking for. He would slide right into Milwaukee's starting lineup. He comes from an athletic family, which knows what it takes to succeed at this level — his father, Sonny played in the NBA.
Did we mention he grew up less than two hours away in Chicago?
If the Cavs don't take Parker first and if the Bucks are scared off by Embiid's injury concerns, Parker would be a no-brainer.
— Aaron Morton
3 of 31. 3. Philadelphia Sixers
Now that there's a major red flag flying over Embiid, perhaps no team is feeling worse about its draft situation than Philadelphia. Multiple reports have the 76ers vying for Wiggins, but chances are Wiggins will be off the board before the third pick. I originally had Parker here, but he's likely gone now too. So where do the Sixers go with this pick? They could easily package a deal to trade up to the first pick. If so, they'll take Wiggins.
If that situation doesn't happen, the Sixers will have to settle for something else. Vonleh could be the guy slated to move up if teams aren't willing to take the Embiid risk. He's long and has good size. He's athletic and can crash the boards well. More importantly, he fits with the athletic ability that the Sixers are building and is a better defender than many of the other 6-foot-9 options in this draft.
While some draft pundits have Embiid or Dante Exum going here, keep in mind the Sixers have last year's Embiid, Narlens Noel, on their roster already. Would Philadelphia draft a center that wouldn't play back-to-back years? Possibly, but unlikely. Exum is a good, athletic guard, but Philly could use its 10th pick on a better shooter.
— Carter Williams (No relation to Michael Carter-Williams)
4 of 31. 4. Orlando Magic
Could the Magic swipe up Embiid just before the Jazz would have a shot at him? Absolutely. He would make a nice compliment to Orlando big man Nikola Vucevic.
But there are indications the Magic may go point guard with the fourth pick, leaving them with the options of Exum or Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart. Orlando may look to team Exum with last year's second overall pick, Victor Oladipo. Oladipo had a solid rookie campaign, averaging 13.8 points, 4.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game, but the Magic could move Oladipo over to his more natural position, shooting guard, by picking Exum and joining the forces in their backcourt.
Exum is a wild card in the draft, coming from Australia and having less exposure to NBA scouts in live-game action. Even so, the Magic go with the safer bet here, picking up a man to run the offense over a player whose foot injury hurt his draft stock.
— Brandon Judd
5 of 31. 5. Utah Jazz
How quickly things can change in the NBA. One week ago, Embiid was largely viewed as the most likely No. 1 pick in the draft. Now his foot injury casts a shadow on not only his status Thursday evening, but also his future career.
This case is the epitome of a high risk, high reward possibility. Embiid could have the highest potential of any draft prospect. His mixture of size, agility and basketball instincts make him incredibly tantalizing for lottery teams needing an injection of talent and hope. While he has not been playing long, he made consistently strong progress during his time at Kansas. To put it in perspective, the most common comp that scouts have been using is the great Hakeem Olajuwon.
The risk is clear. His foot injury, coupled with his back issues the past four months, conjure up images of Sam Bowie and Greg Oden. There have also been others who underwent the same surgery as Embiid and went on to have productive, successful careers.
The Jazz are looking for star power. While it may prove difficult to trade up to a top-three slot, having someone of Embiid’s caliber slip to the fifth pick is a risk that might be worth taking.
— David J. Smith