With Joel Embiid’s undergoing foot surgery, the NBA draft this June 27 makes it more interesting. Will the Cavaliers draft Embiid? Or will they take the safest bet in Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins? The Cavs could trade their first pick and get a battle-tested veteran if they have doubts. Embiid is too good to be left out but too risky also. We all remember the hyped-big men in the NBA starting with Greg Oden as the no.1 overall pick in 2007 over Kevin Durant. Then there is Michael Olowokandi (1998) and Kwame Brown (2001). They were all good prospects but none have made it to the next level.
The NBA draft trend usually has an inclination of picking seven footers over talented guards. Remember Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan, Hasheem Thabeet over James Harden/ Stephen Curry then who could ever forget the Detroit Pistons drafting Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony/Chris Bosh/Dwayne Wade. Will the Cavaliers draft Embiid? Here is my take on this year’s NBA draft
1.) Cleveland Cavaliers – Andrew Wiggins
The 6’8” guard/ forward can be a very good one-two punch with Kyrie Irving. If the Cavs are planning to lure and signup Lebron James then this could be a deadly trio. Wiggins body control and quickness makes him a good candidate for the number one pick.
2.) Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker
The Bucks really wanted Jabari and the feeling is mutual. If Cleveland lands Wiggins then Jabari is in the right place. With his thick body he can slide up to Power forward. He has to lose those fats if he wants to be explosive. If he plays small forward he lacks lateral quickness so he might have some trouble with quick forwards such as Kevin Durant and Lebron James.
3.) Philadelphia 76ers – Dante Exum
The sixers really wanted Wiggins but if Wiggins is not available then they will have to settle for the immediate impact player in the draft. Michael Carter-Williams could play shooting guard and Dante Exum could very well handle the point guard duties. Dante has great ball handling skills and is an unselfish player that could really help this team. Embiid could have been great but with his recent injury, the Sixers will not waste another draft pick after what happened to Nerlens Noel last season.
4.) Orlando Magic – Joel Embiid
Orlando’s roster doesn’t have a significant center. Joel Embiid could help them with his defensive skills and amazing footwork for a big man. Dubbed as the next Hakeem Olajuwon, Joel has all the tools to be an NBA superstar. With the recent injury and some back issues, it seems like a bad sign for Orlando. But with the supposed number one overall draft pick sliding down to no.4, the Magic will take it in a heartbeat.
5.) Utah Jazz – Noah Vonleh
If you are the number one rebounder averaging 15 rebounds per 40 minutes, if you have the second longest wingspan at 7-4 ½ in the draft and have very massive hands, then it will be hard for the Utah Jazz to not draft you. Noah can score inside and out and with a good range in the 3 point area.
He defends really well. However, he is a poor passer which he has to develop if he wants to make his team happy.
6.) Boston Celtics – Doug McDermott
Looking at their roster, the Celtics need a good scorer and some help in the small forward position. Jeff Green can play power forward and Doug McDermott could help them as a SF. Why do I like this draft? It’s because Doug played for four years in college. He plays in a good system which makes it easier for Brad Stevens to coach him. He is a deadly shooter and will go down as one of the best scorers in college basketball history. The downside is that he lacks the defensive skills and when measured he was only 6’6 ¼ which makes him a defensive liability if he plays at the forward position.
7.) Los Angeles Lakers – Julius Randle
With Pau Gasol determined to leave the Lakers, Julius Randle could somehow try to fill-in the void that Pau left with his rare combination of finesse and power. He has a good skill-set that could really help the Lakers in the post.
8.) Sacramento Kings – Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon could go as high as the no.6 draft nonetheless he is part of the top ten draftees this year. He is very athletic and a very good defensive player. The kings would be happy to take him if he falls into no.8
9.) Charlotte Hornets – Dario Saric
Charlotte needed a good power forward and Saric can give them that. He sometimes plays as point forward and at 6’10” with good basketball IQ he could provide mismatches among slow moving power forwards in the league.
10.) Philadelphia 76ers – Nik Stauskas
Regarded as this year’s draft best shooter, Nik can stretch the floor and make jump shots, something that the 76ers direly need.
Here are some highlights of Joel Embiid’s pre draft workout