Okay, so maybe this year’s NBA Draft class isn’t quite as good as we thought. There are no LeBrons. No KDs. There might not even be a D-Wade in here. The class from 2003 is much better, and let’s not even go into discussions concerning the ’96 class or 1984. With that being said, there is a ton of talent, and we also have to remember: it’s not even April yet. With so many young players coming out, we can guarantee your opinion of them will be drastically different once we get closer to the summer.
Because of the heightened anticipation for the draft this year, we’re releasing an early look at our second mock draft.
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1. Milwaukee Bucks â€“ Andrew Wiggins
6-8, 200 lbs. SF
Just as quickly as people forgot about Wiggins’ average start to his career, the same people are forgetting all the big performances he had after coming up short in the NCAA tournament. In a team-oriented tournament, an individual can carry a team, but it is more common for elite individual talents like Wiggins, Parker and in years past, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Blake Griffin and others to come up short. Wiggins is already a great perimeter defender that will get better with NBA coaching and added strength. He has improved his shooting to the point he is not a major liability. All of Wiggins’ flaws are known and do not take away from his elite athleticism, freakish length, defensive ability and offensive potential.
2. Philadelphia 76ers â€“ Joel Embiid
7-0, 250 lbs. C
The 76ers are trying to build this slowly from the ground up. With Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel on board they are basically using this season as a tryout for other potential players that slipped through the cracks. Embiid is another foundation block in this rebuild. When he was on the court for the Jayhawks, he was the best two-way big man in this class, scoring with polish unheard of from players of his age and rapidly improving every game as a defender. The tools are there for Embiid to be a dominant NBA center down the line not only as a shotblocker, but also as a scorer on the block controlling the paint on both ends of the floor.
3. Orlando Magic â€“ Jabari Parker
6-8, 235 lbs. F
Parker is the last prospect with the potential to go No. 1 overall, but falling in the lap of Orlando, which has been stockpiling talent for 2-3 years, could be the best fit. As a scoring combo forward he complements the young core of Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic with another lottery pick in this draft. More on that later.
Parker has a little of the Carmelo Anthony face-up game as a scorer with the ability to keep the defense off balance shooting from three, the midrange and attacking off the dribble. He may not be the athlete of his peers in this class, but he is sneaky athletic with quick, explosive moves at the rim that catch the defense off guard. In the end, Parker may be the “safest” pick in this group, which is not an insult, especially if “safe” means netting a potential 20-plus point a game scorer.
4. Utah Jazz â€“ Julius Randle
6-9, 250 lbs. PF
The Jazz has also been stockpiling talent over the years and showed some promise leading up to the All-Star Game, but sputtered downward since then. The core of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke would welcome the athleticism and versatility of Randle to the frontcourt. Randle is a beast in transition and on the glass at the four, giving a new dynamic to the Jazz as a whole.