In 2014, for the first time in a long time, three players worthy of the first overall pick entered the NBA draft.
Their names are Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. And a few franchises may or may not have tanked this season to select them.
Here are predictions for where they'll land as well as the order that teams will be on the clock in Round 1.
|2014 NBA 1st Round Draft Order|
|7||Los Angeles Lakers|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|30||San Antonio Spurs|
C Joel Embiid, Kansas
20 years old, 7’0”, 250 pounds
Freshman stats: 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game.
Prediction: No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers
Everything reported about anyone other than Embiid hearing his name called first overall, Grantland's Bill Simmons thinks is laughable. He believes there's no chance Cleveland goes any other direction, and there are reports that back this up.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman (subscription required), Embiid sits and will continue to sit atop the Cavaliers' big board as long as his back is healthy. ESPN reported that he worked out for them last Wednesday.
Previous workouts, though, revealed zero concerns. According to Fox Sports Wisconsin's Andrew Gruman, Embiid's back showed no sign of weakness when he worked out in front of the Milwaukee Bucks.
SF Jabari Parker, Duke
19 years old, 6’8”, 241 pounds
Freshman stats: 19.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.
Prediction: No. 2 to the Milwaukee Bucks
According to ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required), Embiid and Parker are the top two players on the Bucks' big board. Wiggins is third.
This could come as a surprise to some. Wiggins' ceiling is significantly higher than Parker's due to superior athleticism. But Ford explained why teams including, but not limited to, Milwaukee aren't as high on Wiggins: "Some are convinced that Wiggins' lack of an elite skill set to go along with his incredible athleticism will regulate him to the likes of a DeMar DeRozan or Rudy Gay."
If this is what the Bucks believe, Parker will be in Milwaukee next season.
SG Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
19 years old, 6’8”, 200 pounds
Freshman stats: 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.
Prediction: No. 3 to the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia definitely isn't one of the teams that think Wiggins is the next DeRozan or Gay. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported that the 76ers "covet" Wiggins.
Ford (subscription required) even reported that they're interested in trading up to the first overall pick to ensure they land Wiggins. Philadelphia certainly seems more desperate for one particular prospect than Cleveland.
This news means that if Wiggins isn't a lock to the 76ers at No. 3, he's likely a lock to them somewhere.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.
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