Chad Ford Mock Draft 8.0
Randle dropping? With Porzingis out, who makes it into the first round?
T-minus nine days and counting until the NBA draft and things are getting serious. The Cleveland Cavaliers have had Joel Embiid in for workouts, with Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins set to come in this week. The Milwaukee Bucks have all three in this week too, and the Philadelphia 76ers will be meeting with Wiggins and Dante Exum. Until that process finishes -- which includes more physicals, more psych testing and more interviews -- the draft boards are still in flux.
However, we are getting closer and closer to getting a view of who will go at the top.
For now, after talking to numerous NBA team sources, here's our best stab at how the draft might play out on June 26.
Remember that our mock draft is not a ranking of who we think the top players are. Instead, it's a reporting tool to convey our latest intel from NBA scouts and GMs on what each team might do in the draft. Here we go:
Embiid's workout and interview in Cleveland last week were major successes, according to sources close to the Cavs. Embiid did a full workout there in front of the Cavs' front office and owner Dan Gilbert. Multiple sources said that the team was blown away with the workout. Embiid even ended one session by launching and nailing a series of 3s. Directly after the workout, two different sources told me that Embiid was the strong favorite to be drafted by the Cavs. Even Gilbert was on board.
However, there have been conflicting reports coming out of Cleveland about Embiid's physical, with one report stating the Cavs found multiple red flags. That's been strongly disputed by the sources I have, but getting accurate information this time of year is especially challenging. I don't see the incentive for the Cavs to leak that the physical was bad. It lessens the value of the No. 1 pick, especially considering that they are still looking at multiple trade options. The only way leaking it makes much sense is if they are thinking of swapping picks with the Sixers and want Embiid to fall to them there.
Regardless, the team also gets Andrew Wiggins (on Wednesday) and Jabari Parker (on Friday) in this week. Right now, I continue to believe Embiid is moving closer and closer to being the No. 1 pick, but if the physical was bad, a great trade offer comes in or if Wiggins or Parker blow the Cavs away in workouts, things could obviously change.
The Bucks have been very busy. Last week, GM John Hammond and assistant GM David Morway flew to California and did private workouts with Parker and Andrew Wiggins and dinner with Joel Embiid. Then they flew back to Milwaukee and had Dante Exum work out on Saturday. Parker then came into Milwaukee for a physical on Monday and is set to have his his first full workout. Embiid and Wiggins are scheduled for workouts in Milwaukee later this week. The Bucks are the only team to get all four players in for workouts.
The truth is, the Bucks like all four players and can see all of them as fits. Embiid especially intrigues, but the Bucks, like everyone else, are still waiting to get the physical. If Embiid is gone or if the physical is a problem, I believe Parker has the slight lead over Exum and Wiggins. Not only is Parker the most NBA-ready of the prospects, but the team was impressed with his maturity and desire to play in Milwaukee. But this one is still very much up in the air. The Bucks would really like a point guard and think Exum would be a perfect partner for Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Wiggins' athleticism just dazzled them in Santa Barbara. I'm not sure how the Bucks go wrong here. They're going to have a very tough choice.