Cooper Neill/Getty Images
The Milwaukee Bucks come out of the All-Star break as your favorites to win the 2014 lottery. That's what a 9-43 record will get you.
Based on their current roster and short-term expectations, the Bucks will ultimately go with the guy who offers the most long-term promise. And that's Kansas center Joel Embiid, whose two-way ceiling sits a story or two higher than any other prospects' in the field.
When it's all said and done, we could be talking about a go-to center on offense and a premier rim protector on D. And given how far Embiid has come playing just three years of organized ball, it's only natural to assume he'll continue to grow with more concentrated NBA coaching.
Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins will be an option, though he seems to occupy similar floor space as prized forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, and while Jabari Parker makes sense for just about every team, it wouldn't be the same caliber home-run swing.
Though the Bucks have a number of bigs, none of them have the same post game of Embiid, who's got an array of moves with his back to the rim, along with a mid-range jumper that's in the works.
Embiid would also allow the Bucks to explore any trade possibilities for Larry Sanders, a guy who can't seem to stay on the floor, yet one who's bound to attract plenty of interest.
Either way, assuming Embiid does enter the draft, he'll do so as the likely No. 1 prospect on our board, as well as dozens of general managers' boards across the league. According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman (subscription required), Bucks general manager John Hammond loves Embiid's "size, skill and rapid progression."
And at the end of the day, that's what the Bucks need—the No. 1 guy regardless of position.