Potential Top Pick Has Foot Injury
The Cavs have the number one overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, which takes place one week from today. Most mock drafts across the board have placed Kansas center, Joel Embiid, at the top of their boards. Other top pick candidates include mainly Embiid’s Kansas teammate, Andrew Wiggins, and Duke forward Jabari Parker.
Today, multiple sources have confirmed that Embiid has suffered a stress fracture in his foot, and will have surgery on Friday. This almost certainly does not bode well for Embiid, who will undoubtedly start to free-fall down draft boards across the league. Embiid was already a risk because of his reported back problems, so another injury is not going to help his draft stock. However, some team may get lucky and snatch a future superstar big man later in the draft where nobody could imagine he’d fall.
This news has to be crushing to the Cavs, who most likely did have Embiid at the top of their board. Now, Wiggins has to be the favorite. I wouldn’t sleep on Parker, though, who will workout for the Cavs Friday afternoon. Parker was adored the entire college basketball season as the best player in the country, and projected number one pick.
Wiggins always lurked in the shadows as a potential top three pick, and came on strong at the end of the season to be in the discussion with Parker and Embiid. Wiggins has a tremendous amount of potential, and has all the tools to be an effective player right away. Picture a more athletic Kevin Durant, without the purest jumper in the game. Wiggins really does have superstar potential. He’s uber-athletic, plays solid defense, has a variety of ways to score, and seems like a smart, hard-working kid.
Parker on the other hand seems to be the most NBA-ready player in the draft. He has a terrific basketball mind, especially offensively. He’s got sneaky athleticism and size, kind of like a Paul Pierce, but even more so. Defense may be Parker’s biggest weakness, only because he’s potentially a slight step slow to cover today’s NBA small forwards.
It was also reported that the Cavs would workout Australian guard, Dante Exum. This move doesn’t really mean much aside from the Cavs wanting to do their due diligence on top players in the draft. I can’t really see the Cavs taking Exum with the number one pick, so I’ll just leave it at that.
I would be absolutely fine with the Cavs taking either Wiggins or Parker next Thursday. I’m not leaning one way or the other, but you’ll have to check out my final Mock Draft V3 next week to find out who I have the Cavs picking.
By: AJ Ondrey (@CST_AJ)