Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry revealed his team's plans for the upcoming Thursday draft earlier this week. Speaking to reporters on Monday, the first-year owner said that the Bucks would likely rule-out former Kansas center Joel Embiid as the team's first round pick, second overall. Embiid, a freshman, underwent surgery on a broken foot last week and is expecting a four to six month recovery. At seven feet and 250 pounds, the Cameroon native was one of three elite prospects in this year's class, managing over ten points and eight rebounds for the Jayhawks last season. Cleveland, who has the first overall pick, had reportedly settled on Embiid prior to his injury, and although they have not publicly stated otherwise, it is likely they are reconsidering.
When pressed to outline his worries on drafting a temporarily hobbled Embiid, Lasry cited Milwaukee's need for a candidate who can contribute immediately. He also admitted that the sudden injury made the franchise's decision that much easier. Barring any surprises said Lasry, that decision is now between another pair of freshman.
Last Friday, Andrew Wiggins came to the Cousins Center in St. Francis to work out for new owners Lasry and Wesley Edens. Wiggins also played his only year of collegiate basketball at Kansas, earning praise similar to teammate Embiid. As a dual guard and forward, the 18 year old was touted as one of the most versatile college players. Born and raised in Canada, Wiggins comes from a very athletic family, including a father, Mitchell, who played for four NBA teams throughout the 1980s and 90s.
The younger Wiggins had already compiled an impressive resume by the time he committed to Kansas last May. As a senior at a West Virginia preparatory academy, he earned three Player of the Year awards, including the Gatorade National Player of the Year. He was named Mr. Basketball following the conclusion of the 2013 high school season, joining past winners such as LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
With the Jayhawks, Wiggin averaged 17 points per game and hit nearly 35 percent from beyond the arc. Despite failing to advance far into March, he was selected as a finalist for both the Naismith and John R. Wooden player of the year awards.
Impressive numbers from Wiggins, though Duke forward Jabari Parker could give him a run for his money as the top-prospect in the 2014 draft class. Lasry mentioned the former Blue Devil as the Bucks other suitor for their first round attention. Parker, hailing from Chicago, has grabbed headlines this off-season as the most prepared prospect, competing in a number of extracurricular and international tournaments during high school. He won two golds as part of team USA in the FIBA Americas Championship and World Championship. He was honored all four years at Simeon Career Academy, the same school attended by Derrick Rose, Bobby Simmons, and Nick Anderson. Immediately part of the starting five at Duke, Parker finished the 2013 season as a First-Team All American and was named the Basketball Writers Association Freshman of the Year.