Mock drafts all over the land were thrown into upheaval yesterday when it was reported that Joel Embiid has suffered a stress fracture in his foot that will require surgery. The implications of the injury will be deep and long lasting.
First, you have to feel bad for Embiid.
Despite concerns about his back, many had been projecting him to the first overall pick, and few thought there would be any chance of him being taken later than third. The difference between the money he was due to make before the injury and what he will make assuming a slide in where he gets chosen will not be insignificant. We should all hope he makes a full recovery and lives up to the high expectations resulting from his strong season at Kansas.
Second, it's going to have serious implications for how the draft shakes out. Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins are likely the main beneficiaries of Embiid's injury, and it appears that either one could go first overall.
DraftExpress.com has the Cavaliers selecting Andrew Wiggins. He's 6'8, a transcendent athlete, projects as an above average to elite defender, and is nearly impossible to slow down in the open court. He has a developing jump shot, average ball handling skills, and struggled to finish at the rim. Chad Ford called him the 10th best prospect of the last 15 years.
Speaking of Ford, he also has the Cavs selecting Wiggins. However,
His colleague, Jeff Goodman, thinks it's Jabari Parker:
My next mock will now have Jabari Parker going No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) June 19, 2014
All four of the writers at basketballinsiders.com, including Alex Kennedy, project the Cavaliers to select Andrew Wiggins.
Of course, it's never that simple for the Cavs:
Parker top rated player on Cavs board most of the season but still needs to come in for workout tomorrow to secure his status over Wiggins.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) June 19, 2014
Wiggins worked out for the Cavaliers Wednesday, and Parker will work out for the team today in Cleveland. I have no idea who the pick will be, and I don't really even have much of an opinion!
What do you guys think?