New of Joel Embiid's stress fracture has turned everything we though we knew into total disarray. Will there be a new No. 1, and how far will Embiid fall?
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Parker is the most pro-ready player in the draft and should average around 20 points a game right away. He’ll pack a much-needed second option to fellow Duke one-and-doner Kyrie Irving to a Cleveland attack that needs more weapons, and Parker can score both inside and out. He’s a high character, hard-working guy that will bring a much-needed winning mentality to this squad that hasn't even sniffed a winning season since LeBron left.
Milwaukee would've rather had Parker, but this might actually work out better for them. The Bucks already have a budding small forward star in Greek internet sensation Giannis Antetokoumpo, and Wiggins has the ability to play shooting guard – some teams think that’ll be his full-time position in the NBA – and would give Milwaukee one of the league’s most athletic wing combinations in the league. He still needs to improve offensively, but he can be a star defender right away.
The Sixers are HUGE Exum fans, but would've preferred if Wiggins was still on the board. Exum is very similar to reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, except he's better an more efficient. Now suddenly strapped with a tough decision, I expect them to take Exum and try to deal MCW to a team with a big point guard need like the Lakers.
Orlando has been looking for their point guard of the future for the past few years, and Marcus Smart is the most talented one left in the draft. Sure, Orlando would love Exum, but they were going to draft Smart last year before he decided to go back to school.
Smart’s hyper-competitive and fills the stat sheet, but some of his antics from the past year may have hurt his draft stock. Still, he’s too talented to pass up here as an all-around player that will serve as a nice complement to the more defensive-minded Victor Oladipo.
Utah is already has viable options in the post with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, but neither of them are as good as Embiid. Many GM's are scared off by this injury, but I'm not. The recovery time is supposed to be 9-12 months meaning he'll probably miss most of the year, but unless something totally insane happens, statistics say he's going to fully recover and it won't be a problem for him again.
What better place for a guy like that than the Jazz, who already have placeholders? Besides, Favors and Kanter could use another season of evaluation from Utah, and the team probably wouldn't be making the playoffs in the West anyway.
However, the Jazz are desperately trying to trade into that top spot to grab Jabari Parker, the guy they're in love with and have been tanking for. They've offered up this pick and Derrick Favors, but may have to sweeten the pot a little bit. If this scenario plays out, Cleveland will go after Julius Randle or Noah Vonleh.
Boston needs help everywhere and will likely pick the best player available as they can go more for need later in the first round with the 17th pick.
Randle led the nation in double-doubles in his lone college season – and more than any Kentucky Wildcat ever, including Anthony Davis – and is a force on the low post. He’ll need to work on his mid-range game, but he has the potential to be the Celtic’s next superstar.
The Lakers have several directions they can go with this pick, but they can’t pass on Vonleh here. He has drawn comparisons to Chris Bosh for his ability to hit outside shots while still being effective inside and on the glass. Think of him as a much more athletic Pau Gasol - someone who helped bring two titles to Los Angeles. He might not be the future face of the Lakers, but he's a vital piece to a creating a championship team.
Sacramento is another team that could use a little bit of everything, and Gordon can fill a big hole in the Kings’ roster. Gordon has as much talent and athleticism as anyone in the draft, and can play either forward position. Him, Cousins, and last year’s first round pick Ben McLemore could develop into a very dangerous trio.
Charlotte saw improvement this past season for the first time in forever, but still have a big need for perimeter scoring. Enter McDermott, who was one of the best scorers in college basketball history and showed at the NBA Combine that he’s athletic enough to play on the perimeter. His ability to play the small-ball four is also a major asset.
10) Philadelphia 76ers – Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Philly is looking to fill needs, and after selecting Parker third, shooting guard becomes their biggest hole. Stauskas and Harris are pretty even on most teams’ draft boards, but Stauskas is the better offensive player. The Sixers need someone who can knock down shots from distance, and no one in this class does that better than the Big Ten Player of the Year.
If this all played out, Philly’s starting lineup next year would be Michael Carter-Williams, Stauskas, Parker, Thaddeus Young, and Nerlens Noel. Talk about an intriguing, exciting team.
11) Denver Nuggets – Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
Denver has a desperate need for shooting guard, and Harris fills that need incredibly well. He’s one of the most well-rounded players in the draft and can immediately be one of the Nuggets’ best defenders. Harris will never be a dominant offensive option, but he’s far from a liability on that end and can contribute without having a play called for him.
12) Orlando Magic – Dario Saric, SF/PF, Croatia
With their point guard in hand, the Magic can take a bit of liberty with this pick. Saric could’ve been a top-five pick in last year’s draft and has top-10 talent, and his ability to play both forward positions effectively make him a good selection.
Don’t know a lot about him? Don’t worry! That’s why YouTube was invented.
13) Minnesota Timberwolves – James Young, SG/SF, Kentucky
Minnesota was the third highest scoring team in the league this past season, but struggled from behind the three-point line. Young is a very dynamic offensive player that can fill it up from everywhere, and can fill the Wolves’ need for a small forward.
14) Phoenix Suns – Adreian Payne, PF, Michigan State
Phoenix was arguably the league’s most heartwarming story of the year, largely due to their team chemistry. Their point guard position is set with Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, but more talent would be welcomed everywhere else.
The Suns would love to add depth and a physical presence in the post, which fits Payne. He’s a team-first guy – crucial in Phoenix – and can hit outside jumpers, making him a better replacement for Channing Frye.
15) Atlanta Hawks – Zach LaVine, PG/SG, UCLA
Atlanta was the story of these playoffs with the way they handled – and almost beat – Indiana, but they still have to add pieces to maintain any sort of long-term success. The quickest way to address that is to pick LaVine, who has the potential to be the best player in this draft.
He can play right away behind Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver, and has the potential to replace either a few years down the road. LaVine still needs a few years to fully develop, but his crazy athleticism and 46-inch vertical can help Atlanta right now.
16) Chicago Bulls – Tyler Ennis, PG, Syracuse
Without Derrick Rose, the Bulls are one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA, which they’ll need to address in the draft. And with Rose’s health becoming more and more of a question, a quality insurance option would be nice. Insurance options don’t get much better than Ennis, who might be the best pure point guard in the draft.
17) Boston Celtics – Rodney Hood, SG/SF, Duke
Boston would love it if Rodney Hood fell into their laps. They need help on the wing, and Hood is one of the best in the draft. He’s a knockdown shooter and underrated slasher that can handle the ball effectively and play point guard when Rajon Rondo isn’t on the court. Hood needs to improve defensively, but his offensive game is polished enough to contribute right away.
18) Phoenix Suns – T.J. Warren, SF, NC State
Speaking of great offense, Warren might just be the second-best scorer in the draft behind Dougie McBuckets. He’s not great at anything but really good at everything, which actually makes him harder to guard. Warren isn’t great defensively and isn’t very athletic, but he’ll give the Suns a great scorer and will give maximum effort all the time.
19) Chicago Bulls – Clint Capela, PF, Switzerland
Chicago’s in a position where they can take a risk with this pick, thanks to grabbing Ennis at 16 and having 2011 first round pick Nikola Mirotic coming over from Spain. Capela still has to develop, but he has the talent to be a lottery pick, as shown in his International YouTube Video.
20) Toronto Raptors – Jusuf Nurkic, C, Bosnia
Nurkic is a big, big man and a true center, and could form a nice foreign duo with Jonas Valanciunas down low in Toronto. Time for another International YouTube Video!
21) Oklahoma City Thunder – Cleanthony Early, SF/PF, Wichita State
It’s become painstakingly obvious that the Thunder need some SERIOUS scoring help to assist Westbrook and Durant off the bench. Enter Cleanthony Early, who has the size and athleticism to play both down low and on the perimeter. He showed at Wichita that he can score in a plethora of ways against the best competition in the NCAA Tournament, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be successful in the NBA.
22) Memphis Grizzlies – P.J. Hairston, SG, Texas Legends/UNC
Memphis is another team, like Chicago, that is offensively challenged. We know Hairston can light it up, especially from deep, but his character issues came to light after not being reinstated by the NCAA, sending him to the D-League. However, the Grizzlies have a strong locker room that should get the most out of Hairston.
23) Utah Jazz – K.J. McDaniels, SF, Clemson
Utah needs help on the wing, and K.J. McDaniels is the best one on the board. He is an incredible defensive player and a jack of all trades. He’ll do all the little things to help make a team successful, and he can be a viable secondary offensive option that you don’t have to call a play for. McDaniels’ athleticism and defensive prowess is a perfect complement to Gordon Hayward on the wing.
24) Charlotte Hornets – Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA
The Hornets continue to add scoring help on the wing with Adams. He’s an above-average shooter with deceptive quickness and a knack for getting to the foul line. Adams should be able to immediately bolster Charlotte’s offensively-challenged bench.
25) Houston Rockets – Kyle Anderson, PG/SF, UCLA
Houston needs to start looking for insurance players with several of their inexpensive contracts about to end, and Anderson is one of the most versatile players in the draft. He can play every position other than center, and his playmaking skills are perfect for the Rockets’ drive-and-kick system.
26) Miami Heat – Shabazz Napier, PG, Connecticut
The holes in Miami’s supporting cast became painstakingly obvious in the Finals, and Napier can help right away. He singlehandedly led UConn to its second championship in four years, and proved he’s an extremely well-rounded player in the process, leading the Huskies in points, rebounds, and assists. Mario Chalmers is a free agent, and Napier could step in and fill his role effectively.
27) Phoenix Suns – Jerami Grant, SF, Syracuse
With two first round picks already, Phoenix can take the guy with the most potential left on the board. Grant’s still a work in progress, but he has prototypical NBA size and the skills to contribute off the bench right now while he reaches his potential and can ease into a starting role.
28) Los Angeles Clippers – Jarnell Stokes, PF, Tennessee
The Clippers need to improve their rebounding and find a third big man to add to their rotation, and Stokes is just the man for the job. He’s a little short at 6’8″, but he’s one of the best rebounders in the class and has an NBA-ready body. Stokes would also add the toughness L.A. has been lacking.
29) Oklahoma City Thunder - Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG, Missouri
With Reggie Jackson moving into the starting lineup alongside Russell Westbrook, OKC’s bench needs help in the backcourt. Clarkson is a good scorer that can play point or off the ball alongside Westbrook or Jackson and would provide the Thunder will another viable offensive option
30) San Antonio Spurs – Mitch McGary, C, Michigan
McGary would’ve been a lottery pick in last year’s draft, but injury problems and a stronger draft class dropped him to the end of the first round. He’s not a great scorer, but he’s a solid rebounder and good passer – skills that will be best utilized in Gregg Popovich’s system. McGary is a great value this late in the draft and someone the Spurs can’t pass on.
What do you think will happen draft night? Who do you want your team to take? Tweet your thoughts and responses to @brauf33.Back to the NBA Newsfeed