Let’s look at FanSided’s Editors’ Picks. I’ll quote them in italics, and add my thoughts.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Joel Embiid, Kansas
I don’t think anyone - from Dan Gilbert on down– knows who the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to take No. 1. With no coach in place, that makes sense. But at the end of the day, I think Joel Embiid will be the pick – provided his back checks out. It’s cliche, but big men who move and defend like he does just don’t come around very often. Embiid is the kind of player you want to pair with Kyrie Irving long term, as he can serve as a pick and roll partner on offense and protect the rim behind him. Both Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are tempting and it wouldn’t shock me if the Cavs went in either of those directions. But Embiid is just too talented to pass up – provided his back is okay.
Brian says: Nobody can quarrel about Embiid’s gifts. However, with the quality of players available in this draft, why would you chose one with medical issues at Number One? If Emibiid turns into the second coming of injury-plagued Greg Oden, Cleveland fans might burn down the stadium.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – Jabari Parker, Duke
With Embiid off the board – though I’m not certain the Bucks want or need Embiid so long as Larry Sanders is on the roster – Milwaukee goes with who I believe to be the safest of the top-tier prospects. Parker can step in immediately and start at shooting guard or small forward, teaming with Giannis Antetokounmpo to comprise one of the league’s youngest and most intriguing wing combinations. While Parker may not be an elite athlete, he’s certainly a very, very good athlete, and he dispelled any rumors of weight gain or lack of conditioning when the Bucks watched him work out in California a couple of weeks ago. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, Parker is thought to be very open to the idea of playing in Milwaukee, which is, unfortunately, something the Bucks must take into consideration at No. 2.
Brian says: It’s interesting to read about Milwaukee being viewed as a less-than-desirable destination. I remember Steve Francis pulling a hissy fit when chosen by Vancouver. Ultimately NBA players will go where they want. Parker is a safe selection, and if he’s indicated he’ll be OK being a Buck, you’ve got to grab him.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
The 76ers have wanted Andrew Wiggins for a long time and are pleased that he fell to us at No. 3. We were willing to do whatever it takes to have Mr. Wiggins in a Sixers uniform, but we are elated to add him to our strong youthful core. We look for him to instantly bolster our defense and eventually develop into a Hall of Fame talent.
Brian says: Not much to argue with here – Philly will feature one of the youngest group of starters in league history next season, as Nerlens Noel will get his shot after being injured. With Wiggins on board, this team will struggle once again, but watch out for them in ’15-’16. Youthful teams can “arrive” in a hurry.
To be continued…