For the third time in four years, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the number-one overall pick in the NBA Draft
In 2011, they selected former Duke Blue Devils’ point guard Kyrie Irving. Although Irving has battled injuries and there are rumors he is unhappy in Cleveland, he is a very good player when healthy and looks like a worthy pick. In 2013, it was former UNLV Runnin’ Rebels’ forward Anthony Bennett who the Cavaliers took with the top pick and he had a historically bad rookie season (but the Cavaliers still have high hopes).
Now the Cavaliers will like choose between former Kansas Jayhawks’ center Joel Embiid, his former teammate, forward Andrew Wiggins and former Duke Blue Devils’ forward Jabari Parker. Wiggins is set to work out for the Cavaliers on Wednesday while Parker shows off for the Cavaliers Friday. Embiid has already worked out for the Cavaliers.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, citing a source, believes the Cavaliers are ‘leaning strongly’ toward drafting Embiid.
A source familiar with the Cavaliers thinking says the Cavliers are leaning strongly toward Embiid, who has impressed in private workouts. Embiid’s back has not been an issue, but league sources say teams are still evaluating it to determine the long-term risk. Still, Embiid’s potential as a dominant two-way player appears to be too good for the Cavs to pass up.
Embiid is ranked second among all prospects by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express (behind Wiggins). Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 1.4 assists and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 62.6% from the field, 20.0% from beyond the arc and 68.5% from the free throw line.