The college season is over, and the time for evaluating top prospects in live game conditions is through. The 2014 draft class didn’t live up to astronomically high expectations, but it still appears to be the best group in the past few years. There will be a lot riding on the decisions that teams holding lottery picks will have to make, and the greatest amount of pressure will rest on the shoulders of the GM with the No. 1 overall pick.
Andrew Wiggins entered as the most ballyhooed of them all and a surefire top overall pick, but he stumbled, and found himself behind Kansas teammate Joel Embiid, a relative basketball neophyte from Cameroon who surged to the No. 1 spot on draft boards in the middle of the season. Jabari Parker was up and down, but he appears more NBA-ready than Wiggins and Embiid. All three have been the leading candidates for the top pick for much of the season.
Chad Ford of ESPN.com has moved Wiggins back to No. 1 in his latest rankings, and that’s where Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has him, too. Still, Wiggins is third behind Embiid and Parker on Aran Smith’s board at NBADraft.net. Teams remain undecided, and the Kings apparently have Wiggins outside their top three picks, according to Ford.
Much depends on the health of Embiid’s injured back, and the identity of the team picking first overall won’t be known until the May 20th draft lottery. There are plenty of variables that will go into the equation in the 79 days remaining before the draft, but if you were the GM picking first overall and the draft were tonight, whom would you select?