For the first time ever, an only 3-team mock draft with a trade that may or may not happen and probably won’t effect who the Sixers see at 3 anyway!
Also, these are my more complete thoughts on the Embiid vs Wiggins/Parker question (The Need for Embiid). But here's how this is all going to go down. Tell me what you think is going to happen in the comments.
Pick 1…Twolves trade Love to the Cavs and the Twolves take…Wiggins
Kaboom! The Twolves already have Pek at center and Dieng is productive as a backup (Dieng should start, but that would be a different post on a different site). They couldn't make the playoffs with a superstar PF so they aren't just going to test out Embiid there in a doomed experiment. And, if they pick Embiid, they’ll easily get ridiculed and have an empty stadium next year for trading Kevin Love and having a shot at a fancy potential superstar and instead taking the big man who just started playing baskeball 4 years ago. Who has had back problems. The negative consequences of an Embiid pick here are enormous. Do I personally buy into that thinking? No. But, I still think that it’s the more likely scenario for the Twolves. Rubio and Wiggins make for a nice young (Rubio is 23) running and dunking team and at least there's superstar hope there to replace Love. Meanwhile, the Cavs will be glad to get bailed out of another potentially bad draft pick for a proven star next to Kyrie Irving. Love actually fits nicely with Tristan Thompson and Andy Varejao (when healthy) so it should be an easy decision. And finally, Kevin Love himself has to prefer the safety of the eastern conference after missing out on the playoffs in the west with a team that would have been the 3 seed in the east. Sure, Cleveland is not LA, but LA doesn’t have the assets to get Love and neither does Boston. The Warriors are the next most logical spot for Love, but the Twolves just can’t like that scenario (something like David Lee and Klay Thompson (sign and trade)?).
The best part about this situation is that even if the Cavs keep the pick, THEY have to take Wiggins. I can’t imagine a team trying to develop Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett and Joel Embiid at the same time while Kyrie Irving tries not to talk to Dion Waiters. Irving isn’t going to keep the Uncle Drew show in Cleveland until he actually looks like Uncle Drew if they pass on Wiggins. Sure, it’s not easy to predict the Cavs, but they did take Irving when they just couldn’t fall in love with Derrick Williams (who ended up with...the Twolves. This "drafting players" thing is hard except that he had low steals/blocks output in college: analytics favorite red flag) so I have to think that the upside having, position of need filling, at a minimum defensive stopper future of Andrew Wiggins will go to the Cavs if they keep the pick.
Pick 2…Bucks take Parker
Staying put and going with the sure thing here makes sense for the new owner. I hinted that I think that the Twolves would stay away from Embiid because of his back even in the face of tryouts and workouts that indicate otherwise. Mainly, for the Twolves the risk is too big after trading into the top spot. The Bucks, though, would avoid Embiid because they have spent a lot of time and money (that the new owner is now on the hook for) building this team’s front line and they ended up with a pair of viable young big men in Larry Sanders and John Hensen. And lets assume that they still consider Ilyasova part of the future. Now, they have the opportunity to pair up a believed scoring machine next to Giannis Antetekalphabet for the next 7-10 years and you can always just hide Parker’s defense (assumed to be bad, but I’m not so sure) with Giannis covering the better offensive threat with Hensen and/or Larry Sanders cleaning up the mess when Parker’s man beats him off the dribble. This may be the plan if Ilyasova turns things around, but why not just take Parker and be sure. I tell you, again, I’d want Embiid, but the Bucks just don’t have a good reason to take him. Maybe the Jazz swoop into this spot and grab Parker for, apparently, religious reasons, but either way, the second pick would be Parker.
Pick 3…Sixers take Embiid
Go get him. Don’t tell me about Noel because the Sixers just don’t have the talent to be picky with the best player available coming to them 2 years in a row (and it may have happened twice last year if you count the rookie of the year as best player available). You can’t argue Embiid’s ceiling versus Exum and look above…Wiggins and Parker are gone. Just go get Embiid. Even more specifically, I think that Hinkie is trying out players on the roster right now in a "podium sprint" competition in case Embiid is available. By the time Adam Silver says Jabar-… Hinkie is going to hand the card with Embiid’s name on it to his fastest messenger to run the card to Silver before he even leaves the stage. Silver will look puzzled because he thought that the Sixers wanted Wiggins all along, but Hinkie will lean back halfway in his chair and begin a smile before realizing that Saric is going to be available at 10 and he could use a 6’10" slick passing euro PF who maybe can’t guard anybody but who cares because he has Noel and Embiid’s collective 14.5 feet of wingspan patrolling the paint.
For the impending "Season of Hope - Sixers 2014-15" that’s a pretty nice haul with huge upside and some manageable downside. If Saric doesn’t work out or Embiid’s back acts up, they use the cap space they have and recover just fine anyway.