Are Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker atop the Bucks current board?

Parker at Duke. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Parker at Duke. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

This from Chad Ford’s chat, is about as excellent a summation of the Jabari Parker/Joel Embiid/Andrew Wiggins question as I’ve seen:

Parker fits a need — especially if they are losing Luol Deng this summer. Embiid has the most long term upside of anyone in the draft. And he fits a major need for the Cavs as well. 7-footers that are athletic, quick and skilled on both ends don’t come along very often. If Dan Gilbert was a patient man, it would be hard to pass on Embiid.

But the fact that Embiid is probably a couple years away from being an impact player in the NBA is giving them pause (his back is an issue too, but that should be resolved soon one way or the other as both the Cavs and Embiid’s agent are negotiating a visit and physical). Wiggins offers a compromise. He’s got huge upside like Embiid, but is also ready to come in and contribute right now — especially defensively.

He’s framing it in terms of Cleveland’s thinking, but the Bucks likely look at things along the same lines, especially if John Hammond is truly in charge.

Hammond was not hired by the new ownership group and could feel an obligation to move things forward next season in hopes of keeping his job. But that’s just speculation. If these new owners are as smart as everyone is hoping they are, they’re much more likely to be swayed by a long term plan that’s in place and consistently acted on. Rather than take Parker and hope for three or four more wins than Wiggins or Embiid would deliver next season, surely they’d be more interested in seeing whichever player will ultimately deliver on the highest percentage of his potential. And the combination of that player with other players who will also be productive and acquired at a reasonable cost is what will keep a GM employed in Milwaukee, not win numbers.

At least that’s the hope, right?

Though I think anyone who thinks Parker can’t get a lot better than he is now is selling him short. I thought Eric Buenning made a solid point earlier today when he basically wondered why being polished at age 19 was such a bad thing. Just because he isn’t as athletic as Wiggins doesn’t mean he can’t become a much better player than he is today. And if he already has such a fine grasp on what he needs to do offensively, what will he be able to do in three years after working with professionals and studying film of himself playing against professionals? Why isn’t there a “awareness upside” discussion ever?

Ford had a few more interesting notes on just what’s happening in relation to the Bucks draft preparation.

chad ford chat recap - bucks draft 1

Good news, agents are directing their clients away from the Milwaukee Bucks! There was early conversation that Dante Exum may have been uninterested in playing in Milwaukee and there’s a consistent scuttlewhisperbutt that he’s angling to end up on the Lakers, but according to Ford, Parker, Wiggins and Exum are all ready and willing to play in Milwaukee 41 40 times next season. But, if they are all willing to play here, which is the one the Bucks ultimately desire?

chad ford draft chat bucks - 2

*Waits for Wiggins fans to uncoil*

Embiid seems to be at the top of everyone’s list. It seems that size still sells, even in today’s NBA, one that seems to be dominated by perimeter shooting, guards that can penetrate and wing players with rare gifts of speed and size. But Embiid has agility and has displayed some advanced post moves to go along with his incredible size and length, which is what seems to be winning over executives.

How Wiggins has apparently fallen out of favor with a team that seems to be embracing the idea of waiting a few years to be good again is beyond me. But according to Ford, it’s the supposedly most-NBA-ready Parker who currently most appeals to the Bucks after Embiid.

Categories: Draft Talk

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Bucksketball. He founded it in…

36 Comments

  1. I think it could be a ploy by the Bucks brass to give off the idea that they prefer Jabari and Wiggins. I think everybody wants Embiid if healthy but i’m not completely sold that the Bucks prefer Jabari over Wiggins.

  2. ah this years draft, what a nice problem to have…… this is just specualtion, and something ive been speculating on for over a year now, 3 -2nd round picks, and not enough space on the roster…….. Im guessing they trade up and get a 2nd first rounder possibly in the middle of the round……. which, of course, could make this team even better than predicted……. draft day trades are basicly the ONE thing no one is talking about with milwaukee…… and this year a dynamic draft day trade for either players and-or moving up for another young, great talent could make this team, lightyears ahead of where anyone expects them to be.

      • I keep telling everyone who will listen the Bucks are the East’s version of the Thunder and possibly Philly and Magic moving into the Clippers and Golden State of the East as well. This draft is the best since 2003, a future empire is built upon this draft.

  3. I think people fail to understand this is not a Kevin Durant-Greg Oden spat. This is not a LeBron James-Darko Milicic draft either. This really is closest a Bogut-CP3-Dwill draft. Either hit a home run with bigs(I’m not comparing Embiid to Bogut). Bucks fans remember Bogut pre-injury. Stat geeks and intangible viewers loved that guy. A big man/guard draft. I would draft Wiggins if available, trade him to the Sixers. Basically hold him ransom. Trade him for a second round pick or a late first rounder and the third pick. Worst comes to worse you have the most athletic team on the court. Best out of it? Landing Exum, hopefully stealing LaVine or Smart somehow if they slip to late first round. Yes, draft 2 combo guards and a more realistic pure point guard. Out of those 5 guards they would have gotta at least hit one if not two home runs with that much potential. Probably being Exum, and Smart, allowing BK to be a 6th man type guy and trade the others while young. Point is hold Wiggins hostage. Moving down a spot may not hurt.

    • Nevermind I thought Sixers had acquired a late first round pick. I dont think they’d give up 3 and 10 for 2, maybe.

  4. Hammond has thus far drafted based on talent and potential rather than need. If Cleveland drafts Wiggins, we take Embiid, and vice-versa. Enough of the “Parker fills a need” bullshit. Yes, we need a legitimate scorer, but we also NEED a player who can potential be a superstar, and Wiggins has a lot better chance of being that player with his all-around game than Parker who has major concerns on the defensive end, not to mention his reputation as a tweener: too small to play PF, too slow to play SF.

    • I agree with your comments. We take which every of the two falls to us. Besides, this has long been called the Wiggins draft, so I can’t see us passing on him. The new owners want to fill seats and I firmly believe Wiggins will put more fans in seats than Parker or Exum.

    • Hammond isn’t making the final decision, however. Edens and Lasry have stated they would have the final say on who is drafted and from what I’ve read they like Embiid and Parker.

  5. Chad Ford has his own personal bias. He hates Duke, so he hates Jabari Parker. He’s been like most ignorant scouts in GM who drools over Wiggins’ potential despite his lack of fundamentals and thin body at this point. These are the same people who anoited Wiggins as the next Kobe/Lebron coming out of high school. It’s not Wiggins’ fault that he got the attention. By all means, he’s a really good kid. It’s just unfair that he got pegged to be something that he clearly wasn’t ready for.

    • GTFOutta here with your Wiggens smack talk! He beasted in college, has insane athleticism for an NBA player and has a nice looking jumper. Wiggins played with 1st rounders like Dennis Schroeder when he was finishing up with High School and still dominated. He is the best player in this draft, and the Bucks need to take him.

      • He played one game with Dennis Schroeder at the Nike Hoop Summit and one game of 41 points and what two 30 point games is not exactly beasting. I’m not hating on Wiggins and I hope he becomes successful in the NBA. He’s got great potential but that’s just it, it’s potential. He’s game is behind right now compared to Jabari Parker and maybe Dante Exum. He’s got a lot of work to do.

        • And that’s perfectly fine. We know that Parker is the most NBA-ready of the three, but we don’t need someone who can come in and contribute right away. Wiggins is more raw, but has the higher ceiling and has the better chance at being a major star, particularly since he could already be elite defensively at the NBA level.

          We don’t need immediate success. We need a potential superstar at the number two pick, and I think Wiggins is that guy, not Parker.

          That being said, if Embiid falls to number two then we’re taking him regardless.

        • Those are still impressive numbers for a College Freshman playing in the Big 12. Jabari Parker, who so many call an elite scorer averaged about 1 more ppg than Wiggens, a raw player with supposedly little offensive game. Wiggens even average more ppg than Kyrie Irving did, albeit he played in only a dozen games. Wiggins is in perfect position to take over the NBA game, with his ideal frame, defensive prowess and awesome athleticism. Jabari is damn good, too, but Wiggins is on a whole different level in terms of genetic gifts and potential. Just imagine a front court of Wiggins, Knight, Giannis, that’s pure talent and pedigree that few other teams could match.

      • Robbie why you and most people believe Parker won’t get better at playing defense? That’s something you can teach. IMO I would rather have someone NBA ready now in regards to scoring and teach him how to play defense

        • Exactly, and more importantly Parker is a high-effort guy. Teach him how to better position himself on defense and he can become an average to above-average defender. It isn’t like he’s lazy on D, he’s only 19 and probably hasn’t needed to defend at a high level until last year.

          I don’t like how everyone plays down Parker’s potential as if he’s already at his ceiling at age 19… I can’t honestly say I’ve ever heard someone say a 19 year old was at his ceiling before.

  6. Parker should be our pick IF Embid is chosen first. Parker is ahead of Wiggins skill wise and brings it every night. There is no questions on Jabari Parker’s intensity or work ethic. Wiggins is rail thin and will need work on his body to reach an all star level which will take a few years. While we are waiting for Wiggins to develop his rookie contract will be up and he will be out of here to a big market team. This should be an easy call by taking the high character guy who will be much more likely to stay with the Bucks long term and that is next years rookie of the year, Jabari Parker!

    • It doesn’t matter how far Parker is ahead of Wiggins right now. Everyone knows he’s probably the most polished and NBA-ready player in the draft right now, but also the one with the lowest ceiling of the three.

      I repeat: we DO NOT need a player who can come in and immediately contribute. That is not the endgame of this draft. The point is to draft the player that has the best chance to be a superstar at this level, the one with the most talent and potential, and that’s between Embiid and Wiggins.

      Wiggins will work on his body and his game. There’s nothing to indicate that he isn’t just as hard a worker as Parker is.

      Also, the Bucks will have him for probably at least three years on his rookie deal, and then he will be a restricted free agent and we can match any offer made for him at that point and have him locked up potentially for at least another four seasons.

      Hammond drafts based on potential rather than need. Aside from Embiid, Wiggins has the most potential, and we can’t pass that up.

      • I disagree with your analysis. Why isn’t Jabari Parker more likely to become a superstar? From why I have seen hes the one who is the closest right now and he also seems to be the only one of the three with the competitive drive to take the step. He already has an ELITE skillset, and his measurables indicate that he will be a better defender than originally thought. Right now Wiggins looks like an oversized two who isn’t fluid with the ball, does not do well in consistently making his own shot, and does not have a killer mentality. People base their “Potential” off size and athleticism, but try listing off superstars who made it solely off athleticism.

      • What??? We DO NOT need etc…. Really!!! So u want another YI J or Joe Alexander??? At least Embiid would hold down our #2 C spot for 4 (hopefully 10 years)!!! And our Interior D would be Great!!!! We could also use Ersan mainly at SF (PF Def is poor)… Look, This year is a “Potential” draft also our new owners are making the decision. I do think Wiggins fits a bigger need, but if we take parker, we HAVE to trade Ersan!!! We will probally give Majo one more year to fit, if he doesnt, we trade him!!!

  7. not sure why everyone is calling Wiggins super skinny.. dude at 19 weighs more than Jordan did at 21 when drafted

    • Wiggins is also 2 inches taller…. and you have a grammatical error in your comment, you can put Jordan and Wiggins in the same sentence.

  8. Personally, I think we should make a trade with Cle for #1!!! Maybe something like this… Ersan Mayo #2 and a2nd for #1 Bennett and Waiers!!!

  9. Personally,I think we should trade for #1pick!!! My idea is Ersan Mayo Delfino #2 AND A 2nd (#48) 4 #1 Varajo Bennett Waiters and Gee!!! Then waive trade or Amistey Varajo… Obviously draft Embiid… Give both Sanders and Embiid a year together before giving up on Sanders!!! Bennett would be our off the bench Forward with Giannis starting at SF and Waiters and Knight sharing at the Guard spots…. The only down side to this trade is we wont be upgrading our PG spot!!! I believe this trade benifits both teams. I do believe Cle should take Wiggins to pair with Irving!!! If Cle doesn’t bite, I would Try to get T young #3, #10,and MCW from Philly. Then trade Young to LAL for thier #7 pick!!! Then id draft Embiid (if avalible) Randle or gordon and McDermote… This would save Hammonds job!!! If Philly asks for our ’15 1st pick i would give it to them!!!

    • CLE and Philly never make those trades in a million years! Also, nobody is giving up a #7 overall for T Young. Wow…I mean I’m all for trying to get the most out of teams, but nobody wants our below average players with terrible contracts for their young talent and a downgrade of a pick.

    • Neither of your trades would fly in NBA2K14 much less real life. Philly can stay at #3 and will have either Wiggins or Exum fall into their lap, so why trade up? Cleveland can have their pick of any player in the draft so why would they trade back one spot for our bad contracts and a 2nd round pick?? WHILE giving Bennett and Waiters away for nothing on top of it.

  10. A few problem with this trade idea…

    1. Why would Cleveland go for this? The only piece we could likely offer Cleveland that they may be interested in is Ersan because of his ability as a stretch four, but right now they’re in the process of trying to make a deal with Minnesota for Kevin Love, who is by all accounts a much better player.

    Furthermore, Cleveland wouldn’t give up their first round pick AND Waiters in the trade for our scraps and the #2 pick.

    2. We couldn’t amnesty Varejao. We already used ours on Drew Gooden, and teams could only do it once.

    3. Even if Philly was willing to do that trade, that would be an absurd idea. The one positive is that we’d still be guaranteed one of Parker/Wiggins/Embiid, but as I’ve outlined before, the organization should be looking at Wiggins or Embiid only if we’re looking at potential superstars. Even if that was even somewhat possible…

    4. The Lakers aren’t giving up the seventh pick in a loaded draft for Thaddeus Young.

    The Philly idea isn’t quite as insane as the Cleveland one, but there’s still too much at work there for either team to truly consider it.

  11. 1) I would take Parker over Wiggins every day for Bucks. Parker has a much greater offensive skill set but most importnatly brings maximum intemsity every night. Wiggins takes nights off and even his own college coach questioned his alpha dog and intensity. Why do we think we’ll get more alpha dog after he starts cashing NBA checks?

    2) If I were Lakers I would seriously consider Thad Young for the #7 pick. Young averaged almost 18 points a game last season along with 6 rebounds and is only 25 year5s old so just about to enter the prime of his career. He is also known as a tireless worker on court and a model citizen.

  12. I think the most realistic trade rumor is trading down one spot with Philly. Joel Embid is going #1. We like Jabari so we draft Wiggins at #2 and have a trade lined up with Philly in which we get the #3 pick and their #32 pick which is the second pick in the first round so very valuable.

    We would get Jabari with the #3 pick and then package the two early second round picks which are highly valued to move up into the middle area of the first round. We should wind up with the #3 pick and another first rounder in the 15 to 20 range.

    • Why is everyone crazy about embid? You know how many talented centers are busts than jackpot? Bucks can’t afford to mess this up! Embid couldn’t hold up against college players playing 25 mins a game. #2 when we drafted Boget, everyone said Williams who went #2 to hawks had most upside! Remember tim thomas? just cuz someone has upside doesn’t mean they’ll reach it. Parker is best player hands down! Labron couldn’t play defense his 1st 5-6 years and parker already has a better all around game than james did coming to NBA. And NBA is no longer a center league! Ask the Rockets who signed NBA’s best center and didn’t go anywhere! Sanders messed up this year but before season began he was being hailed as best defensive center and had all the upside in world! Sanders will be better than Embiid for next 2-3 years, and doesn’t have a back problem. Look at Bynum, and endless # of centers who once have back problems they never go away. Parker is going to be a superstar and is forsure an multi-all-star, and yeah I like wiggins 2nd because Parker has why better handle than him and thats harder to get better at than defense. Also Parker has post game, midrange game, and he’s stronger than wiggins, did anyone see Durant get shut down! You can’t shut Parket down cuz he’s got whole package!IF Bucks drafted Embid I give up, on them I’ve been waiting for us to have a chance at a top wing for 20 years! Even Hakiem Olijawon did’t win till Jordan took couple years off!And next years draft will be stacked with centers.

  13. I feel as though leadership is being overlooked here. Parker not only offers a much more well rounded skill set, but also is mentally tougher and is a natural born leader. I feel as though the talent level on our roster is not the problem, lack of experience and injuries are what derailed the team last year. Lets not forget that a lot of people had the bucks getting the 7th or the 8th seed last year before Giannis broke out as a potential impact player. With Brandon Knight, Giannis, O.J. Mayo, Larry Sanders, John Henson, and Jabari Parker as a nucleus of players I don’t see why we cant be in the discussion for the Eastern conference finals within the next three years. You throw in the first round draft picks we have in the mean time and we could have a very impressive team that has the ability to make up for parkers mediocre defense(that is underrated by most anyway) and develop into an explosive offence with Giannis, Jabari, and Knight in transition. I could see Giannis and Jabari being on the same level as KD and Westbrook in terms of their effectiveness on the break(I realize neither of them are point guards, but they both take the defensive rebound and look to attack the break every time) To top it off, if Henson can develop a midrange game it would give us the ability to match up with almost any lineup imaginable with either Parker at the 4 against smaller lineups or Parker at the 3 against larger lineups. In my book it comes down to Parkers ability to create his own shot, much like Carmelo Anthony, he has a rare skill set for his size and I see him developing into a Carmelo Anthony type only with a better head on his shoulders.