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.
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?
*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.