Ford’s Latest: Embiid, Wiggins, Jazz

Chad Ford has made the season’s first change to the top spot of the Insider-only Big Board for, bumping Andrew Wiggins from the No. 1 one spot in favor of Kansas teammate Joel Embiid. Wiggins doesn’t fall far, landing at No. 2, right in front of Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Dante Exum. Ford joined readers to chat about the new projected No. 1 overall pick and other draft topics, and we’ll run down the highlights:

  • Wiggins hasn’t demonstrated that he’s a franchise player capable of immediately turning around a moribund team, and neither has anyone else in this year’s draft class, Ford observes.
  • Parker is a “lock” to go to the Jazz if they wind up picking first, Ford writes. The Celtics also prefer him to Embiid, but they’re more open to changing their minds. The Magic and Sixers still prefer Wiggins, but they, too, seem flexible enough to switch to Embiid over time.
  • Most people around the league think the Celtics would like to end up with a top three pick in this year’s draft, but Ford isn’t so sure, noting that GM Danny Ainge isn’t as high on this year’s prospects as other teams are.
  • The Kings would probably choose between Parker and Embiid with the No. 1 pick, though their urgency to win soon could turn them off from Embiid, according to Ford, who adds that Sacramento also regards Exum highly.
  • There’s a significant drop-off in talent after the top five prospects, and another after the top 10, according to Ford, who says the middle of the first round isn’t as deep as in years past.
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