The Bucks get their chance to watch Andrew Wiggins in Santa Barbara on Friday, a visit that appears all the more important given the increasing talk of Joel Embiid landing in Cleveland. So how did the Kansas big man's trip to Ohio go earlier this week?
News is positive in Cleveland after Cavs examine Joel Embiid's back and see no longterm concerns, according to a source.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) June 11, 2014
Today's visit w/ the Cavs was an important hurdle for Embiid. Cavs will still consider deals but have to be blown away based on this news.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) June 11, 2014
So...Bucks now on the clock? Or another case of Cavalier misdirection? I'm resigning myself to the former but I suppose we can't completely rule out the latter either. After all, this is the franchise (albeit not the same GM) that shocked the world by picking Anthony Bennett a year ago, and there's little reason for the Cavs to let Embiid hear anything but positives during his visit.
What's more interesting is Embiid's reference to "the next one," which we might leap to assume would mean another workout. Currently there's no talk of Embiid definitely working out anywhere other than Cleveland, but any doubts about the Cavaliers' intentions would increase the likelihood that the Cameroonian big man makes a stop in Milwaukee as well. Speaking to TMJ4 on Monday, John Hammond sounded confident it would happen at some point in the next two weeks:
"We'll have them all in," Hammond said. "We're excited about that. There's always a trend. Those guys don't start their workouts until closer to the draft. We're in constant contact with their representatives. They've all been extremely cooperative, so we're looking forward to having them all in."
As for Wiggins, he has yet to work out for anyone thus far, but he did take a trip up to Oregon on Wednesday to meet with Nike officials:
After today's workout in California, the Bucks' brass will fly straight back to Milwaukee to work out Dante Exum on Saturday.
ESPN | Ford: Draft tiers suggest elite draft?
A year ago, Chad Ford didn't project any players as either tier one or tier two prospects. This year? Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker all make the tier one cut, joining only Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis and John Wall in that category since 2009. So I guess it's a good draft to have a top three pick, eh?
Meanwhile, another six guys rate as tier two, and Kevin Pelton's WARP projections of the draft's top international prospects suggest Clint Capela, Jusuf Nurkic and Dante Exum are also worthy of serious hype. Hint: don't tell the ESPN crew that this draft isn't all it's cracked up to be.
And from Monday: here's Ford talking Bucks in his most recent chat. Still loving everyone!
They like all four of the top guys. But I think Embiid, Parker and Exum are ahead of Wiggins right now because of perceived fit. Embiid gives them a player that can command a double team in the paint. Parker gives them a go to scorer that can immediately jump start the offense. Exum is the young point guard they'd love to pair next to Giannis Antetokoumpo. I think Wiggins is also a possibility, but I think they feel like he and Giannis might be a little too similar developmentally.
There was also this bit of speculation/gossip/rumor-mongering (which has already been a major topic of discussion in the comment section):
You said the Kings had interest in Brandon Knight for the 8th pick, would that interest extend to Larry Sanders, considering he would be a perfect fit next to Big Cuz.
Chad Ford (1:42 PM)
Yes. The need a rim protector and Sanders is available. I think if they give up Knight and Sanders they'll want more than just the 8th pick. But the Kings have enough assets to throw another player the Bucks way. Would be a good deal for both teams -- especially if the Bucks could get Ben McLemore as well. They need young players they can build around. The Bucks will be active in trying to move up and get another pick and the Kings have been among the most active in trying to add a few vets to turn this team into a playoff contender next year. Sanders and Knight would probably do it.
I won't pretend to know if this has any legs, though it would certainly be an interesting/intriguing option if the Bucks felt like going nuclear on the current roster and really starting over.
DraftExpress | Updated Full Mock Draft
Jonathan Givony also has Parker going second:
While Dante Exum is seemingly a sleeper at this spot (or possibly a little lower if the Bucks decide to move down), Jabari Parker is currently the favorite to get picked second overall here according to most reports we've received. Parker looks like he could be a terrific fit next to Giannis Antetokounmpo, as his skill-set is very compatible and he could be cross-matched nicely at the forward spot with the tall Greek wing. Parker has expressed no qualms about playing in Milwaukee, just up the road from his hometown of Chicago.
Bucksketball | New Arena Glossary
Really terrific summary of all the people that matter in the arena. Great work here by Preston Schmitt.
Hardwood Paroxysm | Ekpe Udoh forever: The story of Ekpe's Book Club
From Jack Maloney comes a really, really great account of the now-legendary Ekpe's Book Club event last weekend in Dallas.
Basketball Insiders | Bucks' frontcourt logjam
Pretty good summary here.