The 2014 NBA draft is now less than a month away, and as the event draws closer, it's becoming clearer which teams will take the top stars.
This year's draft could be one that fans remember for a long time, as it is filled with some top-tier talent, including a few potential superstars that are coming out as freshman.
Much like in previous seasons, there are also some intriguing international prospects such as Dante Exum, the talented guard coming out of Australia.
As prospects continue to prepare for the draft, let's take a look at the predicted landing spots for the top players in this year's draft.
Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
Heading into his freshman season with the Kansas Jayhawks, Andrew Wiggins was the no-brainer to go No. 1 overall in this year's draft. However, with Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid's strong seasons, there's no guarantee that Wiggins is the first player off the board.
According to ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required), the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly not even looking at Wiggins with the No. 1 overall pick, instead focusing in on either Parker or Embiid.
Reports this late in the season could be a smokescreen, but if someone is telling Ford this, there's probably at least some degree of truth to it.
In the event that Wiggins doesn't go No. 1, it's very unlikely he drops much farther. He's a top-tier athlete with tremendous upside. According to CBS Philly, Kansas head coach Bill Self feels like Wiggins will be a multiple-time All-Star in the NBA:
Here’s a guy you’re talking about that could have been the number one pick in the draft last year that was a high school junior. This kid is a high school senior next year. I mean this past year, he should be a senior. He reclassified to graduate early, so he’s young. Unbelievable athlete and a terrific talent and the NBA game, I feel, really translates well for him. He’s a guy that can easily be an eight to 10 time all-star without question moving forward.
I don't think that the Cavaliers pull the trigger on Wiggins, but I expect the Milwaukee Bucks to be waiting for him with the very next pick.
They had a rough past season, but with Wiggins and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the wings, the Bucks would have a bright future ahead of them.
Prediction: Milwaukee Bucks (No. 2 overall)
Jabari Parker, SF, Duke
Of all of the freshmen from the past college basketball season, Parker appeared to be the pro-readiest prospect during his time with the Blue Devils. That has helped him secure a spot as a top-three pick on most mock drafts, including on CBSSports.com.
During his one season at Duke, Parker was a constant scoring threat, averaging 19.1 points along with 8.7 rebounds per game while shooting 47.3 percent from the floor.
While not on the same level as Wiggins, Parker is still a great athlete who shows off a much more developed jump shot and an overall strong set of skills for a forward.
Parker is currently in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick, and as Conrad Kaczmarek from Fear the Sword points out, he's arguably already a better fit for the Cavaliers than Luol Deng.
I still feel that the Cavaliers go in a different direction, and I think that Parker projects best to play with the Philadelphia 76ers.
They lost their go-to scoring option in Evan Turner halfway through the season, but still have promising pieces in Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young.
By adding Parker, the 76ers could have three promising pieces to build around.
Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers (No. 3 overall)
Joel Embiid, C, Kansas
Although he's only been playing basketball for a few years, Joel Embiid already looks like an NBA-ready center. As long as he stays healthy, the expectations for the former Kansas center are through the roof.
At 7'0'' with a 7'5'' wingspan according to DraftExpress, Embiid already looks like an NBA center. He was incredibly efficient as a freshman, averaging 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game while shooting an incredibly high 62.5 percent from the field.
Of course, after missing the end of the season with a back injury, scouts have been very concerned about whether the injury will hurt him down the road.
According to Fox Sports' Andrew Gruman, Milwaukee's director of scouting said it didn't look like there were any issues with the 20-year-old's back:
Baxter Holmes from the Boston Globe added that Embiid reportedly didn't look like he had any limitations during his workout in Los Angeles:
Given his size and unlimited potential, the Cavaliers are going to have a very hard time passing on Embiid. If he can add some muscle to his frame, he will be one of the scariest centers in the NBA in terms of athleticism.
Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 1 overall)
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