NBA Draft 2014 | Ford mock draft sees Joel Embiid to Bucks, Dante Exum workout expected in Milwaukee

Ed Zurga

ESPN | Ford: Joel Embiid to Bucks in latest mock (Insider)
We know the Cavs will get a look at Joel Embiid at some point in the near future, but other than that we don't know much. We don't know if Embiid will be deemed 100% fit after missing two months with stress fractures in his back, we don't know how that will impact the Cavs' willingness to draft the hyper-talented big man, and we don't know if anyone else--including the Bucks--will get a chance to see Embiid in person thereafter. All that uncertainty has Chad Ford keeping Andrew Wiggins atop his latest mock draft, allowing the Bucks to swoop in for the Cameroonian big man at #2.

Embiid took the first step toward answering concerns about his back injury last week in Santa Monica. While he was a little out of shape (understandably so given that he had to rest his back for eight weeks), Embiid didn't look like a player with a back problem. Now all he's waiting on is a couple of NBA doctors to concur that there are no long-term issues. If he clears that hurdle, there's no question that Embiid has the most upside of any player in the draft. Those Hakeem Olajuwon comps are the real deal. But he's also the furthest away from making an immediate impact. He's the biggest gamble at the top, but also provides the biggest reward.

Meanwhile Ford still has Dante Exum going fourth to Orlando--does anyone have him anywhere else?--but reiterates the Bucks' continued interest in the Australian playmaker.

Exum was the only player in our top six not to do some sort of workout for NBA GMs and scouts. Sources say the Bucks got to visit with him in L.A., but it wasn't in a workout setting. But that doesn't seem to be hurting Exum's stock at all. As Kevin Pelton and I pointed out, not only is Exum a sleeper on many draft boards, but the analytics say he might be the second-best player in the draft. The Bucks are very high on him, and contrary to the ongoing storyline that no one wants to play for the Bucks, they are having Exum in for a visit and workout. The Sixers and Magic also are fans of Exum, so I don't think he slides past the Jazz at No. 5.

And what about Wiggins and Jabari Parker? In a chat at ESPN.com, Ford maintains that the Bucks could indeed opt for the former Duke star and Chicago native over the Canadian pogo-stick.

Marvin (Philly)

Assuming Embiid goes 1, would the Bucks realistically take Parker over the upside of Wiggins? Also, when does the next mock come out?

Chad Ford (1:09 PM)

Yes. Parker is the most NBA ready player of the top 3. He could average 20 ppg for the Bucks next season. He also has incredibly high character, is a leader and is the lowest risk prospect in the draft. Hard to imagine Parker not making a few All-Star teams if he stays healthy. For a GM that is on a one-year trial period, I'm not sure you can pass on the guy who's likely to be the Rookie of the Year next season and take the guy that might be better in five years. John Hammond just doesn't have that sort of flexibility right now.

Note: As mentioned in the comments, Hammond might have some incentive to pick a guy who will provide some early returns, but we know that he's not the one making the final call either--that will be up to new owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry.

Bucks.com | Wednesday workout features Iowa's Devyn Marble and Tennessee's Jordan McRae
More second round prospects made their way to the Cousins Center on Wednesday, with Iowa combo guard Devyn Marble (DX #51) and Tennessee shooting guard Jordan McRae (DX #59) the most notable participants. As for the guys you really care about:

If you're getting antsy, don't worry quite yet. The top prospects often push off workouts until closer to the draft, giving them additional time to get fit, work with their trainers, and polish up their workout game. This is the biggest audition of their lives, so no reason to rush into it. Moreover, the chess game of who goes where always requires someone to make a first move, and for now it still seems like Embiid's workout will set the rest of the process in motion.

OnMilwaukee.com | Future of Marquette basketball, Admirals hockey tied to Bucks arena discussions
Jim Owczarski writes that neither Steve Marcus nor Admirals owner Harris Turer have officially been approached about investing in a new multi-purpose arena, but both seem open to the possibility. Also included is a quote from from Wes Edens hinting at a downtown location for a potential new arena:

"We drove around Downtown – it was snowing that day – a few weeks ago," Edens told a media gathering at the Cousins Center last week. "So, we've just started with it. Something Downtown I'm sure is going to be the right answer. Right in that whole nucleus and we'll try and figure that out."

Bucksketball | Arbitrarily grading Hammond's draft picks
John Hammond's (post-Joe Alexander) drafting acumen is often cited, but how does the Bucks' recent drafting history rate relative to comparable draft positions over the last 20 years?  Preston Schmitt crunched all the numbers and serves up some very interesting results.

Basketball Insiders | Mock "consensus" split between Wiggins and Embiid at 1/2
The four mocks from the Basketball Insiders all show Wiggins and Embiid going 1/2, but they're split on which order they'll go. It's a similar story from Chris Mannix at SI, who also has the Bucks taking Wiggins over Parker:

There is conflicting information here, with sources indicating that the Bucks like both Wiggins and Jabari Parker -- if Embiid is off the board. The guess here is that they settle on Wiggins, whose ceiling, many executives believe, is slightly higher than Parker's. The rebuilding Bucks need a franchise player, and Wiggins has that potential.

CBSSports.comDraft Options: What can the Bucks do with the No. 2 pick?
I disagree with some of the assertions here--I don't see much point in worrying if Embiid or Exum might dislike winters, and I'm not the least bit worried about Wiggins' personality in the Bucks locker room--but still some thought-provoking angles to ponder here.

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