Ceilings, floors for draft prospects

To whom do Embiid, Parker, Wiggins and 25 others compare?

Updated: June 20, 2014, 10:29 AM ET
By Jeff Goodman | ESPN Insider

Hakeem Olajuwon and Joel Embiid Getty ImagesHakeem Olajuwon has been cited as a high-end comparison for Joel Embiid for months.

Everyone likes player comparisons, but they are extremely difficult to do because, well, each player is different.

After speaking to NBA guys, college coaches and watching some of these kids play hundreds of times over the years, here are our comparisons. We give you a ceiling and a floor for 28 of the top prospects available in the June 26 NBA draft.

Remember, these are high-end comparisons -- and will be extremely difficult for any of these guys to reach -- but they give you a better understanding of what type of player they might be at the next level.


Joel Embiid


High end: Hakeem Olajuwon. Though we don't know exactly how badly Embiid has injured his foot, in a vacuum, if Embiid lives up the massive potential he possesses, is an Olajuwon comparison accurate? It's a ridiculously lofty comparison that isn't really fair, since the Dream is one of the greatest big men in the history of the game, but Embiid is skilled on the offensive end and also has a chance to be a big-time presence on the defensive end. Embiid's numbers as a freshman (11.2 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, 2.6 blocks per game) were actually superior to Olajuwon's (8.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.5 BPG) as a freshman at the University of Houston.

Low end: Bismack Biyombo. They are different players, but Biyombo -- who was drafted seventh overall in 2011 -- has averaged 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in his first three seasons in the NBA. I'd be shocked if Embiid's production were comparable.

Jabari Parker


High end: Glenn Robinson. Most people go with Carmelo Anthony, but Big Dog might be a more apt comparison. They are both flat-out scorers, have similar body builds and can fill it up from all three levels: beyond the arc, midrange and also in the paint. The comparison is also valid due to their defensive deficiencies. Robinson averaged 20.7 points and 6.1 rebounds for his career.

Low end: Antoine Walker. I'm thinking more of the late-career Walker, the guy who loved to jack 3-pointers, rarely defended and was just a flat-out chucker with no conscience.

Andrew Wiggins


High end: Paul George. While he enters the NBA with far different expectations than George had, they both have tremendous athleticism, similar skill sets and body types. People also questioned their intensity, consistency and killer instinct coming out of college. George emerged as one of the NBA's top players as he concluded his fourth season in the league.

Low end: Corey Brewer. In the worst-case scenario, Wiggins should be a terrific defender who is an average offensive player, much like Brewer. This past season, Brewer averaged 12.3 points as a full-time starter in Minnesota while shooting 28 percent from beyond the arc.