Orginally, it was the big three in the 2014 NBA Draft—Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. With the injury to Embiid, we are down to two.
The Philadelphia 76ers, in a game of musical chairs, has had the music stop without a chair. It’s clear that general manager Sam Hinkie has been forced to hit the reset button.
Last night, reports surfaced (that I have not confirmed) that the Sixers were willing to move Michael Carter-Williams to the Lakers for the #7 pick, giving the Sixers the #3, #7 and #10 picks in this draft.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown has a relationship with Dante Exum from their time together in Australia. Smart at #3 is a new possibility. Orlando is supposedly desperate for a point guard but may have soured on Marcus Smart. If Smart were to go #3, most people believe that Exum would go #4.
However, a throwaway line in a Bleacher Report story about Aaron Gordon’s workout today in Los Angeles throws the Sixers plans into even more doubt.
Is Aaron Gordon a possibility at #3, or is this a sign they may make the trade with the Lakers for the #7 pick, therefore making it almost certain the #3 pick would be Smart or Exum?
Much of how Utah’s night on Thursday develops will be predicated on what happens in Philly.
LOCKE TAKE: Vonleh is impressive and the national media seems to have zeroed in on this as the draft pick. I think it is still a large discussion inside the Jazz office about Vonleh, Gordon, Smart or Randle. No way is this a done deal in the Jazz front office
Zach Harper has the Jazz are #23 going with 3 and D Cleanothy Early
LOCKE TAKE: Interesting names around 23. Early, Harrison, Wilcox all worked out for the Jazz. Wilcox is the best shooter of the group. Early is ready. He and Wilcox are both older and both can shoot. Wilcox is a natural 2 and Early is a 3
LOCKE’S TAKE—I have a hard time believing the Jazz can afford this type of risk. There is no question that a healthy Embiid is a franchise changer. However, anEmbiid that never gets healthy for a franchise that must hit on the draft because free agency is not an option seems to be too big of a risk. This is also the first time we see the name Julius Randle lined to the Jazz. It’s worth nothing that Aaron Gordon is on the board for the Jazz pick and according to these men the team passes on Gordon every time.
LOCKE’S TAKE—Same as below, I’m surprised that Orlando goes with Embiid. Focussing on the Jazz, the decision may come down to how the Jazz want to play. If they are going up-tempo with Quin Snyder and playing a lot of early offense, do they believe that Vonleh can run? If they are concerned, then the question becomes: Do they think Aaron Gordon can shoot enough to be an effective player? A stretch 4 is not only on the offensive end, it is also on the defensive end. Gordon may move more naturally for a defensive stretch 4, but at this point he doesn’t have the offensive skills that Vonleh does.
LOCKE’S TAKE—I would be surprised if Embiid is taken at No. 4 by Orlando. Unless they think No. 12 gives them enough security to do it. Orlando can’t afford a miss, and there is a real chance that Embiid is Bowie, Oden, etc.
If Vonleh is on the board, the Jazz will strongly consider the mammoth 18-year-old with a versatile skill set.