In his latest chat with readers, Chad Ford of ESPN.com insists that Andrew Wiggins has solidified his position as the No. 1 draft prospect. Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com disagrees, debuting his own Top 30 list based off discussions he’s had with league executives. It has Jabari Parker at the top. Howard-Cooper also touched on a multitude of other draft topics in another post. Let’s sort through his latest and more draft-related stuff here:
- Front offices are wavering between Parker and Kansas’ Joel Embiid for the top spot, according to Howard-Cooper. He adds that no one has more at stake in the NCAA Tournament than Embiid, who only has a shot to return from back issues if the Jayhawks advance without him.
- Austalian guard Dante Exum is right behind the troika of Parker-Embiid-Wiggins. That foursome is followed by Julius Randle and Marcus Smart, before a big drop off at No. 7.
- Jusuf Nurkic is flying up draft boards, according to Howard-Cooper. The 19-year-old Bosnian center, currently playing in Croatia, is in one team’s top ten and may ultimately challenge Dario Saric as the first European off the board.
- UCLA’s Zach LaVine has yet to convince scouts that he projects as a point guard in the NBA, Howard-Cooper writes. It doesn’t help than teammate Kyle Anderson has been handling the ball more as point forward lately, presumably boosting his draft stock. LaVine is still an attractive prospect, but his value will take a hit if his future looks to be on the wing. Both Bruins project as mid first rounders should they choose to come out.
- USA Today’s Adi Joseph includes Embiid and Anderson on his list of eight NBA hopefuls with the most to gain in the NCAA Tournament, along with Keith Appling, Jahii Carson, Cleanthony Early, Tyler Ennis, Montrezl Harrell and Shabazz Napier.