Draft Rumors: Embiid, Exum

Here’s the latest we’ve come across regarding the 2014 NBA Draft:

  • Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com (via Jeff Goodman of ESPN) tweets that Kansas center Joel Embiid is leaning toward staying another year in school. If true, this significantly impacts the 2014 draft, as the 7’0 big man has been projected by some to be the number one overall pick in June.
  • In a piece for Zagsblog, Zagoria mentions that there are some sources close to the Kansas program who believe that Embiid would prefer to stay in school, although they also think the opportunity to play in the NBA next year may eventually be too great to pass up.
  • In that same article, NBA analyst Greg Anthony tells Zagoria that he thinks Embiid should return to Kansas for another season: “(Joel’s) instincts aren’t where you want them to be. At (the NBA) level, they don’t teach, they coach…Our league drafts potential, it doesn’t draft a polished, finished product. I think a lot of these kids are really, really good and really talented but a lot of them could use another year.”
  • Anthony applied the same logic to other heralded collegiate freshmen, including Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, and Aaron Gordon“I would say that Jabari’s probably the most polished of all of them…And listen, it’s gonna be hard for them not to come out, I get that part. But it wouldn’t hurt any of them to come back to school…I’m a proponent of guys being able to come out of high school. I think these kids are more talented than the draft we had a year ago, but you want them to be a little bit more polished when they come here.
  • Prospective 2014 lottery pick Dante Exum made it recently known that he’d like to be drafted by the Lakers next June, getting the ball rolling on speculation that his representation might try to find a way to dissuade undesired teams from drafting him. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders doesn’t put any faith into the idea that Exum’s agent can force the Australian point guard’s way to Los Angeles, adding that the rookie contract scale removes a lot of power out of the agent’s hands during the draft process. Overall, Kyler believes Exum’s comment has been blown out of proportion and warns not to read into it too much at this point, especially since Exum has yet to meet with a single team (All Twitter links).
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