Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kansas Duo of Embiid, Wiggins Could Go 1-2 in Draft; Exum Could ‘Sneak Up’; Ennis, Grant, Anderson Move Up
Two years ago, the Kentucky duo of Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made history by becoming the first college teammates ever to go 1-2 in the NBA Draft.
Now, two years later, it looks as if the Kansas duo of Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins could match that history.
In the latest installment of Chad Ford’s Big Board, the 7-foot Embiid is slotted at No. 1 overall, while the 6-8 Wiggins is No. 2. Duke’s Jabari Parker is projected at No. 3.
Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com also recently updated his Mock Draft and has a 1-2-3 of Wiggins-Parker-Embiid.
I have more on this in my column today on SheridanHoops.com, but the general consensus among NBA personnel is that Embiid, Wiggins and Parker will be the top three picks — in some order — with Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Australia’s Dante Exum slotting in behind them.
“I do not see anyone else getting into the Top 3 with Randle and Exum rounding out the Top 5,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv.
One NBA executive believes that Exum could potentially move higher if the players above him under-perform.
“Don’t be surprised if Exum moves up the way [Dion] Waiters did [in 2012],” the executive said. “Everyone else was underwhelming and he hid in the weeds.”
Waiters went No. 4 to the Cleveland Cavaliers that year after he stopped working out for teams higher up in the lottery than the one from which he had a guarantee.
Still, others believe Exum can’t move higher than 4 or 5.
“I do not see it unless he comes and blows away the workouts but he will probably not go up against the top guys,” the veteran NBA scout said.
Also of note in Givony’s new draft is that Syracuse small forward Jerami Grant moved up to No. 15 and point guard Tyler Ennis is now No. 20 in the 2014 Draft. Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker moved up to No. 16 while injured Michigan big man Mitch McGary is down to 29.
Grant and Ennis have led No. 2 Syracuse to a 17-0 record entering Saturday’s ACC game against former Big East rival Pitt.
According to an ESPN Win Shares statistic, Ennis has contributed more wins to his team than any freshman in Division I this season (3.2).
Meantime, another former New Jersey high school point guard is also up in Givony’s Mock.
UCLA’s Kyle Anderson now sits at No. 40 overall — No. 10 — in the second round. The 6-9 Anderson is averaging 15.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 6.6 assists.
For more on his draft prospects, click here.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.