I’m still trying to calm down from the unfortunate news that Jeff Goodman released earlier today. Joel Embiid is having surgery tomorrow on a stress fracture in his foot. This puts the Andrew Wiggins falling to Philly at 3 pipe dream in jeopardy, only because Cleveland looks poised to grab Wiggins or Jabari Parker. Milwaukee would presumably then select whomever Cleveland doesn’t pick, which leaves Philly with an “injury-prone” Embiid, Dante Exum, Noah Vonleh or the option trade the pick. I woke up this morning with a smile on my face. Seven days away from Philly grabbing Andrew Wiggins with the third pick, but now I’m not so sure what Philly does with the third pick.
This is all speculation. The idea that Embiid is no longer an option for Cleveland at No. 1, and that it’s between Parker and Wiggins for Cleveland. These reports from “sources” are just rumors, and have no truth to them presently because so much can change from tonight until draft night. Cleveland could trade the pick. Cleveland could take Joel Embiid. Nothing will be clear until draft night. Philly, reportedly, wants Andrew Wiggins. Maybe they trade their 3rd and 10th pick to Milwaukee or Cleveland so they can grab Wiggins. Maybe they draft Embiid, and rest him for a few months in the season, and finish with another poor record in hopes of getting another top-3 selection. Nothing is out of question, really. I’m not sure how much Embiid’s injury changes Philly’s draft strategy, especially if they weren’t guaranteed to get Wiggins in the first place. I keep on going back to Dante Exum, and how he compared himself to Manu Ginobili and Russell Westbrook. Ginobili played under Brett Brown in San Antonio, and James Harden has been compared to Ginobili, and if you remember Sam Hinkie helped orchestrate that James Harden-to-Houston trade nearly two seasons ago. Again, this is all just speculation. I don’t really have a preference because I trust in Sam Hinkie, and I think he’ll put Philadelphia in the best place to win a championship in the near future. Hinkie knows how valuable that 10th pick is, so I’d be shocked if he used that pick to move up. If Wiggins and Parker are taken when Philly’s on the clock next Thursday, I’m fine with Exum or Embiid. Obviously, for those of you that know me, I want Andrew Wiggins. I’ve wanted him in a Philly uniform since watching his high school highlight tape 17 months ago. But I also want Philly to keep that 10th pick, or at least have two lottery picks (I’m fine with Philly trading their 10th pick to Phoenix for their 14th and 17th picks). It’s no secret that this draft is historically deep. I mean there are guys like Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson who are projected to fall in the 20s that could make for really solid pros. There’s just a whole lot of talent in this draft where the more picks you have the better. Yahoo’s Woj mentioned that Philly is intrigued by two guards–Marcus Smart and Dante Exum– in the lottery, which is obviously odd since Philly has 22-year-old, 2014 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams as their starting point guard. Maybe they trade him for another top 10 pick? Maybe they don’t. Who honestly knows at this point? More reports will be released this next week, and until anything becomes official, they are just reports. I do believe Exum is a very strong possibility at three for Philadelphia, and again, I wouldn’t mind that at all.