Obviously the back-and-forth among Cleveland’s brass over Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker continues, but we think Cavs management wins out and Jabari goes No. 1. Here is the sixth — and final — installment of Dime’s mock draft:
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1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jabari Parker
6-8, 235 lbs. F
With David Blatt (an offensive guru) and David Griffin at the helm, they are looking for a prospect who can help them immediately and still have long-term potential. Right now it is about 60-40 for Parker over Andrew Wiggins with about a half dozen trade scenarios floating around the Cavs right now. Parker can come in and fill a void at the three, provide shooting, and a complimentary scorer to Kyrie Irving. If Anthony Bennett does not pan out then Parker can be the long-term solution to the small ball four spot for the team and help them forget about that pick.
2. Milwaukee Bucks – Andrew Wiggins
6-8, 200 lbs. SF
Despite having the worst record in the league and missing out on the No. 1 overall pick, it might be a better situation for the Bucks to slide down here. They get to reap the rewards of whomever the Cavs do not pick. Adding Wiggins gives them another incredible athlete and defensive oriented wing to pair with Giannis Antetokounmpo who is a rangy 6-11 now. Wiggins’ offense is a ways away from catching up with his defense, so he will be a 2-3 year development project on that end, but right now he is a quality scorer in the effort categories like transition, on the offensive glass, and second-chance points. There is no better athlete in this class to build with and Wiggins has the potential to be an unconventional superstar that makes his impact on the defensive end while being a serviceable scorer.
3. Philadelphia 76ers – Dante Exum
6-6, 196 lbs. G
Philly is tough to feel out as they are trying to move up, love Wiggins, but in the end might have to draft a player not named Wiggins or Parker, both of which were the catalysts for a 19-win season. There is intrigue in Exum as the best player on the board and a combo guard with a similar skill-set to reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams. Right now Exum is not necessarily ready to compete on that level and needs to continue to develop his point guard skills. He is long, quick, and a terrific athlete for the point guard position who has shown signs of being a decent shooter and quality defender. Joel Embiid and Noah Vonleh are in play here as well.
4. Orlando Magic – Joel Embiid
7-0, 250 lbs. C
The Magic are not in “win now” mode and are trying to figure out who they are. They could use a point guard, but drafting the best available player has to always trump need this high in a draft and as talented as group of players is likely to be. Embiid falls a bit here landing in a situation where he can slowly come back from injury and ensure he is 100 percent before stepping on the court with Nikola Vucevic already in place. Embiid and Vucevic are not a tandem that would play together, but Embiid could be an upgrade allowing the Magic to move Vucevic for other needs in the near future. Marcus Smart is also in play here.