Chad Ford finally puts Joel Embiid at No. 1



It only took a few weeks, but’s Chad Ford finally succumbed to the mythical lore known as Joel Hans (Hans!) Embiid. In typical Fordian manner, the long-time NBA Draft expert hedged his bets, but the Kansas University big man presently has his named penciled in next to Cleveland Cavaliers in his latest Mock Draft.

Wiggins, Parker and Embiid all are in the mix here. On lottery night, a Cavs source told me that they had Parker ranked highest on their board all year because of his ability to come in and make an immediate impact and believe Embiid has the most upside of anyone in the draft and fits a long-term need for them. However, the source felt that Wiggins in the end would be the compromise pick — someone who has both elite upside as well as a player who can play (especially defensively) impactful minutes right out of the gate.

That said, if Embiid is cleared by the Cavs’ doctors, and if general manager David Griffin can convince owner Dan Gilbert to be patient and wait on Embiid, I think he gets the nod here. But those are still two big ifs. While Embiid certainly looked healthy enough during a workout in Santa Monica, Calif., a few weeks ago, until the Cavs’ doctors green light him, we just don’t know. And Gilbert is anxious for the Cavs to be a playoff team. Drafting the guy who’s likely to have the least impact next season is going to be a tough sell. At the end of the day I think the Cavs would prefer to trade the pick, but unless they are getting someone like Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge in return, I don’t think they pull the trigger.

Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears refers to Embiid as a “franchise superstar.” Vegas has the Embiid as the odds-on favorite (slightly over Wiggins). DraftExpress, the ever-excellent resource for all things June 26, is also on board.

It’s a bit scary that the lone roadblock could be in the form of the team’s owner, but it appears that the lack of consensus that plagued this draft as little as a week ago is starting to move toward the 7-foot-tall 20-year-old from Yaounde, Cameroon.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Dan Gilbert should have zero say in who we draft. Take Embiid.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    If Kyrie’s middle name is “Franz” we have to pull the trigger, right?

  • architrance

    The lone roadblock is Embiid’s back, not Gilbert. How hard is the decision – best first year player or best career?

  • mgbode

    Ford: It’s going to be Parker, Embiid or Wiggins.
    Me: Duh, but you’re the supposed expert with sources. So, which one?
    Ford: Well, it’s going to be Parker, Embiid or Wiggins.

  • mgbode

    and, it’s a completely misleading argument. centers have immediate impact because all they have to do is troll the paint on both ends at first.

    Wiggins is much more likely to struggle his rookie year than Embiid. But, if Wiggins reaches his full potential, then he has a much higher ceiling (as a LeBron/Durant scorer and defender —- note: no way I think he gets there).

    Rookie WS/48
    LeBron James .071
    Dwight Howard .131

    Greg Oden .167
    Kevin Durant .040

  • mgbode
  • RGB

    It might be Wiggins, Parker or Embiid.

  • mgbode

    you didn’t list Parker first, so obviously it is NOT Parker.

    of course, you knew that I would notice that you did that, so it MUST be Parker.

    however, you know that I am clever enough to figure out that you would know that I would know that you know that, so cross Parker off the list!

  • RGB

    Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

  • mgbode

    I am NOT finished yet!

  • Harv 21

    I just want whichever of those three will have the draftexpress soundtrack playing when they get the ball. Or does that have to stop when they leave college?

  • mgbode

    the music did seem to stop for Anthony Bennett

  • steve-o

    What a rookie can give us in year one should be the last thing that matters. Chances are we could get similar production from a midlevel FA anyway. What a lottery pick represents to a small market franchise like ours is the potential to obtain a superstar, because that is pretty much the only way we can get one who will stay for any length of time. If Embiid is healthy and has the best chance to become a superstar, then he has to be the pick.

  • Petefranklin

    Las Vegas definitely does NOT have any odds on the draft.You tell me what shop here in LV that I can bet on Embiid and I will make a 100$ bet for you and send you the ticket

  • Scott @ WFNY

    Here’s Sportsbook dot com for starters:

    Embiid is -240,

    (Surely you don’t consider the term “Vegas” to mean a specific establishment within a specific city.)

  • vedwin

    I like Embiid too but he couldn’t stay out of foul trouble at Kansas. There is almost no chance that he stays on the floor long enough his rookie year to make a big impact for the Cavs.

  • mgbode

    a valid concern though he certainly seemed to be getting the hang of things better as the season went along. 20min/game is all we would likely expect from him though and he can make plenty of impact in that time.

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    It is strange how specifically any gambling is now tied to Las Vegas though. This article on NBC sports specifically states “the sports books out in Las Vegas” and then references Bovada, which is an online website registered in Latvia. Your link is registered in Antigua.

    Maybe since “the World Trade Organization (WTO) has repeatedly upheld the right of that Caribbean nation’s online gambling industry to offer services to US customers” and you can get to these sites from anywhere (including from your phone in a Las Vegas sports book), we just use the term “Vegas” as a catchall for all gambling? Poor Atlantic City….

  • Petefranklin

    Sorry, you can’t bet on the draft, draft lottery, or oscars, among many other events that do not take place on a field or court here in Nevada.
    Vegas rarely makes odds anymore, they are made worldwide and then copied here with a few exceptions like the Golden Nugget NCAA games of the year coming out friday, and the LVH’s full prop sheet on the Super Bowl which gets copied worldwide. The corporate suits running things here don’t want any risk at all even though winners create bigger losers.
    Sorry if I’m overly sensitive on the subject, but the local media here rightly makes the distinction between Vegas and “faraway places” when talking about obscure betting propositions.

  • Petefranklin

    I’ve bet from my phone to an account offshore while standing in the ticket line, used to be great!
    After the republicans made it nearly impossible to wire money, It’s not worth it to me. Takes 6 weeks to get 4 figures? Offshores suck now. I’d rather find a local to take my action Thank god for the apps available to gamble here in Vegas now.