Chad Ford: Mock Draft 8.1 (update)
With Embiid ailing, the Cavs must decide between Wiggins and Parker
"Joel Embiid suffered a stress fracture to the navicular bone in his right foot," Embiid's agent, Arn Tellem, said. "He is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow. Joel will be unable to participate in any additional workouts, and will not attend the draft in New York. We will have no further comment until after the surgery."
The navicular bone is at the top of the foot, near the ankle. NBA team sources suggest this is a difficult bone to heal because of circulation issues. Sources say Embiid could be out four to six months. Some evidence, according to sources, indicates these types of stress fractures also are at great risk of recurrence. Because of that, Embiid is no longer likely to be the No. 1 pick in the draft. The question is, how far will he fall?
Embiid was the heavy favorite to be the top pick before Thursday's news of the stress fracture in his foot, which will require surgery. Sources in Cleveland say it is now very unlikely the Cavaliers would take him No. 1. Like any team, they will want to see the medical report after the surgery, but this has seriously dampened their enthusiasm for Embiid.That leaves two prospects -- Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Wiggins worked out for the Cavs on Wednesday and was impressive, according to sources. Although he didn't shoot the ball well, he has improved his ballhandling and showed off his explosive athleticism. The Cavs believe he will be a good shooter in time; there's nothing wrong with his form. Wiggins has similar upside to Embiid. And Wiggins can be a defensive presence for the Cavs from day one.
Parker will work out for the Cavs on Friday. There is a vocal faction within the organization pushing for Parker to be the pick. He is the most NBA-ready, and the Cavs are in a win-now mode. For now, we believe Wiggins offers the best combination upside, plus impact.
Parker worked out for the Bucks on Tuesday after receiving his official physical with them Monday. Parker was impressive in workouts; they are especially intrigued with his leadership qualities, and his personality is a great fit for what they are trying to build in Milwaukee.
Wiggins will work out a second time for the team on Friday. There was some initial skepticism with Wiggins, but he has been gaining favor in the organization since his first workout for the Bucks in Santa Barbara. The Bucks are also interested in Dante Exum, who worked out for the team last weekend. The team had strong interest in Embiid, but news of the stress fracture in his foot makes the Bucks unlikely to draft him. With Wiggins off the board in this mock, I think Parker is the heavy favorite to be drafted by the Bucks.