Many have assumed that the top overall pick in the draft will be Kansas star Andrew Wiggins or teammate Joel Embiid, but ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman, for an Insider-only piece, surveyed 30 NBA execs and Duke’s Jabari Parker came out on top. Parker got 17 votes while Embiid got eight and Wiggins took home five. The uncertainty surrounding the top of the draft makes for plenty of intrigue with the June 26th event just a little more than two months away. Here’s the latest:
- Mouhammadou Jaiteh is withdrawing from this year’s draft, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM, who reported last month that the French center was entering the field. It’s a little surprising to see the 19-year-old withdraw this early, before he had a chance to work out for NBA teams, as he did when he tested the waters last year. He’s ranked No. 63 with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress, and 98th with Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
- Spanish league big man Kristaps Porzingis won’t enter the draft this year, he tells Kārlis Krēgers of Latvian website LETA (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). That sets him up with a strong chance to become a first-round pick in 2015, as he’s ranked No. 15 on Givony’s 2015 mock. Ford has Porzingas as the 65th-best prospect for this year.
- There are plenty of high-scoring small forwards available in this year’s class, writes NBA.com’s David Aldridge. Aldridge’s list starts with the obvious (Wiggins, Parker) but goes on to highlight mid-first round types like Duke’s Rodney Hood, N.C. State’s T.J. Warren, and Syracuse’s Jerami Grant.
- A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com ranks the top point guards and summarizes their strengths, topping the list with Dante Exum.