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Report: If the Bucks get the No. 1 pick they are leaning toward Joel Embiid

Feb 13, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT

Kansas v Baylor Getty Images

General managers fall in love with size.

Every year as the draft gets closer players 6’10 and up — even project big guys — climb draft boards everywhere because at the end of the day they have the one thing that is both important in the NBA and can’t be taught. The big men may be more mobile now, asked to do different things than eras gone by, but the cliché of “tall and good beats small and good” still pulls at GMs.

Enter the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the worst record in the NBA right now and when the NBA Draft Lottery rolls around likely will have the most Ping-Pong balls (which gets them basically a 25 percent shot at the top pick).

Jeff Goodman of ESPN says if the Bucks win the lottery, they likely go with the Kansas big man (at tip to Eye on Basketball).

Bucks GM John Hammond will choose the player he thinks has the best chance of being a star. Right now it’s a three-man race, but sources indicate Hammond loves the skill, size and rapid progression of Embiid. The Cameroon native is new to the game and has tremendous upside. Embiid can help the Bucks on both ends of the court, and while he recently told he might return to school, most feel that he’ll be in June’s draft.

The highly trusted DraftExpress also has Embiid at the top of its draft board right now, which is a good sign a number of teams are thinking the same thing.

What makes this draft class special is that Andrew Wiggins and his athletic potential, Jabari Parker and his ability to score in a variety of ways, and Kentucky big man Julius Randle all have backers. It’s possible any of them go No. 1, depending on who wins the draft lottery. Then there are guys after that like Dante Exum (of Australia) and Aaron Gordon (Arizona) that some scouts think could be special as well.

Embiid has said he will seriously consider staying in school for another year, but as I’ve said before a lot of guys have said that until they really think about the money on the table. That’s hard to walk away from.

If Embiid comes out, I’d be surprised if he goes any lower than No. 2.

  1. andyreidisfat - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    as long as they leave PArker to the sixers I will be happy. heres to parker at 1 and wiggins at 6

  2. 00maltliquor - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    What’s that say about Larry Sanders and his newly signed contract! Lol

    If the Bucks want Embiid that bad they will get him. They will end up as the worst team in the L record-wise. But the worst team never gets #1, more like 2-3. Embiid will still be available, he’s not going #1.

  3. General37 - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Love to see the sixers get Parker, keep on losing guys!
    Lets try and shed Turner and Thad by next T hursday

    • philadelphiafan - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:30 PM

      If you have really been watching the majority of Sixers games this year as I have painfully done you would know that they don’t need to trade Turner or Thad to keep losing. The rest of their roster cancels out the few good players like ET and Thad that the Sixers have. Besides, I like Thad. He could be a great energy guy off the bench next year when Noel is back and a few more pieces are added through the draft.

  4. doubledown44 - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Returning to school when you will be a top three pick is never a (Marcus) Smart decision.

  5. jbink2585 - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Bucks great Move Embid, because MCW, Noel, and Jabari Parker is pretty good nucleus to start a rebuild of a franchise.

    • jbink2585 - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Plus this summer we will have enough Cap space for 2 max contracts.

  6. boscoesworld - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Because NBA GM’s always tell you their true intentions for the draft in February!!

  7. alexbebeastin - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Good pick for the Bucks, if they want a their franchise player to stay with the franchise for a long time then it’s best to draft a foreign guy. These black franchise players always tryin to leave for big cities like Lebron, Bosh, Melo, Howard Deron Wiliams and soon to follow Durant, Westbrook, Irving,

    • 5xchamp24 - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      Whats that suppose to mean? Although it doesn’t help parity in the league, if YOU had the chance to make 100’s of millions of dollars compared to 10’s of millions of dollars, you’d do the same. That’s why they call them FREE agents. (also they’re not called black free agents). I think that if there were as many white franchise players as there were black, you wouldn’t say that, because they might choose the big city as well. But i dont think we will ever find that out because the NBA is about 78% black and about 18% white. This is a great sports website/forum, so lets keep race out of it.

      • unxpexted1 - Feb 14, 2014 at 9:04 AM

        Trust me call somebody from Africa black and they will get highly offended. Black comes with an American connatation. So no, him being from Cameroon doesn’t make him black

    • blueintown - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:20 AM

      I’m no expert, but based on the above photograph alone I’m fairly certain Embid is black. I’ll have to watch a couple more games to confirm this, though.

      In the meantime, what the hell are you talking about?

      • 00maltliquor - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:35 AM

        Last time I checked, Cameroon wasn’t in or a part of the U.S.A.

      • blueintown - Feb 14, 2014 at 7:39 AM


        “These black franchise players are always tryin to leave for big cities..”

        Does being from Cameroon disqualify him as black?

  8. phillysports1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Don’t forget we ( philly ) have New Orleans first round pick. So if we get Jabari and trade away turner to Detroit for their first round pick , or to Charlotte for their first round pick , we have a strong change of landing Jabari Parker ‘ Aaron Gordon ‘ & Rodney Hood in the first round ….
    Or trade hawes along with turner to Cleveland or Sacramento for their first rounder; we can land Julius randle ‘ Parker ‘ Rodney hood . As crazy as it sounds it’s possible lol

    • coachjac30 - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      you are out of your mind if you think you are getting a first for Hawes..I don’t even think Turner is deserving of a first.

    • psubeerman21 - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      I doubt we will get a 1st for Turner. He’s restricted at the end of the year and another team could offer him a big deal. I highly doubt it, since he sucks, but you never know. I would guess a better choice would be to move Thad Young; he might get you a first. I think sending Thad to Phoenix for a 1st would work (they do have 4 of them), then trading Turner for a piece like Monroe from Detroit or Waiters from Cleveland would be a better option. Hawes is garbage, you might get a 2nd round pick for him.

    • philtration - Feb 13, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      First of all the Bulls will have Charlotte’s first round pick if out of the top 10 (right now they would pick 12th).
      2nd…. you are offering players that will never bring a 1st round pick in return.
      You are right about one thing… it does indeed sound crazy.

  9. phillysports1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Oh and yes, we will have plenty of money to spend this offseason too . But doubt they’ll make big signings … #stayawayfrommelo

  10. bougin89 - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    I doubt they are set on Embiid IF they get the #1 pick.

    First off it would make 0 sense to leak a rumor that’s true this early.

    Second, IMO Embiid at #1 would be a reach. Personally I’d want Parker or Randle before Embiid.

    Whatever pick they get the Bucks have got to select best player available regardless of position. Even if their front court is “loaded”(loaded?) compared to their backcourt.

  11. 1historian - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    GMs are just playing games right now – with the press and with each other.

    When is the last time the team with the best chance at the #1 pick actually got it?

    If teams get REALLY serious about tanking that would infect the team – you intentionally create a losing culture – think you can just shake that off with a hot pick? I don’t think so.

    18-19 year old freshmen are – 18-19 year old freshmen. They are not money in the bank. Remember Greg Oden in 2007, and then remember Tim Duncan in 1997 – he graduated from W.F. – he had his head together and was ready for the next step. Kids who have the talent but not the maturity – but go ahead anyway can get stuck at that level and never realize their full potential.

    This is just the shot across the bow, so stay tuned for the fireworks because they’re coming.

  12. coachjac30 - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:07 PM

    Embiid will be a bust in what is a very overhyped draft.

  13. phillysports1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    I never said we were going get a first round pick for hawes . Never said that . Read carefully , I said if we trade hawes along with turner we can land a first rounder.

    Bro there’s no way in earth Detroit is moving Monroe for turner ..

  14. wowwowbad - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    I don’t think so. It’s a perimeter-oriented league and the roles of point guards and swingmen are emphasized by most of the teams in the NBA.

  15. sasquash20 - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    As a Sixers fan I hope they do take him. I want Wiggins or Parker, then a solid 2 g with the NO pick.personally I want Wiggins. He plays better D. But both will be studs

  16. campcouch - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    I’m not a Bucks fan but I always enjoyed their past teams. Sikma,Cummings,Pierce,Ray Allen,Vin Baker,Robinson,Redd. So it’s sad to see their current state. Time to start over,even redoing the team colors.Just not feeling the green and pink…anyways,I hope the Bucks find some draft gold this year!

  17. phillysports1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:31 PM


    I agree . I’ve been watching then all year . Been to their games 6 times this year . It’s painful man … Very

  18. sumkat - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    the only reason I think the whole “might stay another year” thing, may have a bit more validity this year. Just because there are guys that might be the 5-6 pick this year, that would be the 1 if they stayed another year.

    In the long run, they will make more money leaving after the first year (as long as they are worthy of contracts) because they will hit FA sooner. But the lore of being the #1 pick may keep a guy or 2 from declaring this year

  19. ravenswhat - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    “Just because there are guys that might be the 5-6 pick this year, that would be the 1 if they stayed another year.”

    Lol at this comment.

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