2014 NBA Draft: Surveying Latest Rumors Surrounding Top 1st-Round Prospects

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIJune 25, 2014

Top NBA draft prospect Andrew Wiggins of Kansas prepares for an interview during the NBA draft lottery in New York, Tuesday, May 20, 2014.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The 2014 NBA draft will commence on Thursday, and before we know it, the world's brightest athletes will have new homes in the Association. However, one burning question remains: Where will each of the top prospects be selected?

In the days leading up to the draft, a bevy of rumors and smoke screens run rampant across the Web. Sorting though which of these are fact and which are fiction can be a rather daunting task.

Although, there have been a few juicy pieces of gossip that have recently stood out from the rest. Let's take a glance at each as we await Thursday's highly anticipated draft.

Sixers Looking Hard at Embiid

Joel Embiid has taken a slight fall from grace due to his recent injury issues. The athletic center was once thought to be the No. 1 overall selection of the Cleveland Cavaliers until undergoing an unfortunate foot surgery that will force him to miss four to six months.

As it turns out, Embiid may not slide too far in this year's draft.

According to a report from Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com, the Philadelphia 76ers have already acquired the center's medical records and are certainly interested:

Later Tuesday afternoon, an NBA source confirmed to CSNPhilly.com that the Sixers are also among the teams that have Embiid's medical records. The Sixers are reportedly interested in taking Embiid with the No. 3 pick despite his injury problems. They have a second lottery pick at No. 10.

There could certainly be something here, as Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com noted Embiid's agent is controlling which teams will have access to the center's medical records:

We'll find out shortly if Embiid's new home will be in the City of Brotherly Love.

Cavaliers are Torn with No. 1 Pick

Once it was announced that Embiid required foot surgery and was officially off the Cavaliers' radar, it appeared as though the team's decision with the draft's first pick became easier.

As it turns out, that isn't the case.

According to Jeff Goodman and Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the team is still torn regarding the draft's top pick:

With only one day remaining until the NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers' ownership and front office remain torn on whether to select Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker with the top overall pick, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert favors drafting Wiggins with the No. 1 pick after the former Kansas star's terrific workout last Wednesday, according to multiple sources.However, the majority of the Cavs' front office—including new general manager David Griffin—is leaning toward selecting Parker, sources said.

That's not exactly a good position for this franchise with the draft just over 24 hours away.

Should the Cavs decide to go with Wiggins, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweeted a rumor of Parker's landing spot:

It should be rather interesting to see how this all unfolds.

Smokescreens Aplenty

We all know smokescreens are abundant at this time of year. Well, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, the Cavaliers may have a big one:

With teams like the Utah Jazz interested in possibly trading up to select Parker with the No. 1 selection, its wise of Cleveland to maintain the appearance of interest in the former Duke standout.

After all, there's plenty of interest in the first overall selection of this year's draft. According to Sam Amico of FoxSports.com, multiple teams have already discussed the possibility of trading up:

Could we have a new team selecting at No. 1 overall on Thursday? It certainly looks as though the Cavaliers are willing to do business.