This is the day you've all been waiting for since the Sixers embarked on this journey last summer. Draft Day. The day Sam Hinkie has been planning for since he put Jrue Holiday in a box and shipped him to the Crescent City.
Yet here we are hours before the reckoning, and nobody really has a damn clue what's going to happen tonight. That doesn't mean we've all stopped trying to determine the outcome, only that Hinkie's
reign of terror radio silence has everyone grasping at straws. Or perhaps more accurately, going insane.
I think the Sixers will draft basketball players on Thursday and then I will eat pizza.— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) June 23, 2014
I've come full circle. I'm going insane. But at this point, I think the Sixers end up with Andrew Wiggins. (hate myself, im so sorry)— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) June 25, 2014
In just two days, we go from pizza-laced happiness to a sauceless reality and the sudden emergence of a highly coveted Canadian at Levin HQ. Be well, Mike.
While our fearless editor tries to cope in any way he can, there are reports and smokescreens for us to wade through. Shall we?
Interest in Joel Embiid?
The discovery of a stress fracture in Embiid's foot is a root cause of the uncertainty staring us in the face. Long presumed as the top selection, Embiid's health concerns have had a domino effect on the rest of the draft. But as seen with the acquisition of Nerlens Noel, Hinkie's interest doesn't necessarily wane in the face of injury.
Our own Derek Bodner followed Dei's report with a confirmation of his own, so you can lock this in as fact. On its own, it's not a terribly interesting detail -- preparation is the name of the game for GMs. But when considered along with this tidbit from ESPN insider Jeff Goodman, this story gets some legs.
Joel Embiid's agent, Arn Tellem, is controlling which teams get medical info on his client in order to steer Embiid to certain teams.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 23, 2014
If the Sixers are in possession of that paperwork, there's a fair chance that the parties involved have mutual interest. Tellem is a veteran power broker who knows the league inside and out, so he's not going to turn over those details to just anyone. Embiid is in play.
Joel Embiid's seriously in play for three spots in top part of lottery: 76ers (3), Celtics (6), Lakers (7), league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 26, 2014
Dante Exum At No. 3 / MCW Trade For a Third Top 10 Pick?
Embiid's injury has shuffled the big boards of the mock drafting proletariat, with Australia's Exum entering the discussion for the Sixers at No. 3. Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski was the first with his ear to the ground on this one, asserting that taking a point guard was now in play for Philly.
Philadelphia has been intrigued with the possibility of drafting a point guard with one of its picks in the draft, closely studying Dante Exum and Marcus Smart, sources said. Smart wouldn't be selected with Philly's third overall pick, sources said, but Exum does become a candidate for the Sixers at No. 3. Philadelphia has had discussions with teams about gathering an additional pick between its two current choices at No. 3 and No. 10.
Selecting Exum would appear to be a problem with Michael Carter-Williams in town, a fact which did not go unnoticed by Chad Ford, among others:
They are very high on Exum as a prospect. He obviously plays the same position as Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams. However, the Sixers feel the two can play together and they continue to explore Carter-Williams trades that would land them a third pick in the top 10.
Getting a point guard who many feel is a superior prospect to MCW along with a third top 10 selection would be quite a haul for the Sixers, and it feels like a more likely scenario with each passing day. The only certainty is that they have done their due diligence on Exum:
Worth noting, sources say Sixers (and two other teams) have had a scout in Australia to watch Exum this past year. They've done their HW.— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) June 25, 2014
Trade Up For No. 1, Select Wiggins?
The Cavs are making quite a show out of having the No.1 pick. People use the adage "act like you've been there before" to scold young athletes for having fun while playing sports, but it feels a lot more appropriate directed at rumor mongering, middle-aged executives working with their third top selection in four years. How about just focusing on selecting the right player, Cleveland?
Smelling blood in the water, the Sixers have reportedly been in touch with Cleveland about the top selection:
The principle pieces would be the No. 3 pick and Thaddeus Young -- whom Jake Fischer has reported is prepared for a move -- but there have been few details as of yet, other than the knowledge that the Sixers offer is lagging behind those of Orlando and Utah. But now that Arron Afflalo has been traded, is Orlando still in the mix?
Why compete with other teams for the right to move up just a couple spots? Interest in the Kansas swingman that was in for a visit last week. Multiple outlets have reported that Wiggins is the top target for Hinkie and Co., and while that's certainly possible, it's tough to tell just how enamored with him they are. A notoriously quiet group made quite the show out of Wiggins' visit to the city of Brotherly Love -- who was that show really for?
No source on this one. Just be prepared for whatever happens.