Cleveland. The Cavs won the draft lottery.
Bill Simmons is right about this year's NBA draft. Joel Embiid is going No. 1. (Well, he should be; maybe the Cavs are just making noise — see below — or else looking for a trade — but taking anybody else at No. 1 doesn't make sense.) Whether you call him a 7-footer Serge Ibaka, as he does, or a junior Hakeem Olajuwon, as I have, he's No. 1. He's ahead of Kansas teammate Andrew Wiggins, Duke's Jabari Parker, or anybody else. (Note to Basketball Reference: If Hakeem is a 7-footer, I'm 6-7.)
His back injury is relatively minor, far less than the leg issues of Greg Oden when he was drafted, and far far less than the current back problems of Tiger Woods.
And, per both Simmons' angle and mine? You can't teach height.
Otherwise, Embiid is athletic and clearly has defensive skills already. It's just learning an NBA post-up offensive game that's left, along with NBA defensive rotations and mindset.
Well, have fun in Cleveland, unless the Cavs listen to trade offers. Which I highly doubt. He would pair well with Kyrie Irving, if Irving learns more offensive discipline, and Anthony Bennett, if Bennett learns small forward shooting range. Of course, those are two big ifs.
And no, Cavs fans, LBJ is very, very unlikely to be coming back.
Meanwhile, rumor is that the Cavs are targeting Wiggins? Wow. I guess if true, the team has officially written off resigning Deng. And accepted that LBJ isn't coming back. That would mean you'd move Bennett to the 4 — he seems big enough, but is he skilled enough? Or else Wiggins goes to the 2, which means Dion Waiters is on the bench or on the trade block. Even if you are writing off Deng, unless you're prepared to trade Waiters, this doesn't make a lot of sense. Maybe the Cavs will trade out of the pick?
I don't think Dante Exum can play 3 in the NBA, so, you either trade with the Sixers on the idea of picking up Parker at the third spot in the draft, swapping firsts and taking whatever else reasonable is thrown in, or else you trade down to No. 5 or lower. This presumes that you DO resign Deng. IF that's the route, Derrick Favors and a swap of firsts with Utah?
That said, this is Cleveland. Some sort of stupidity could happen.
Anyway, without a trade, here is how the draft shapes out according to Chad Ford.