Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NBA Draft Preview: The Future is Within Sight

Alright ladies and gents, the 2014 NBA Draft is now just a couple of days away.  Many basketball fans have been waiting, waiting, then the All-Star break happened, and then there was more waiting, the trade dead line, waiting and...well you get the picture.  For several team's fans, the only result that mattered was the number in the loss column.  As you know, this was the case for most if not all 76er fans in the 2013-2014 season.  And because of that, we have a Sixers' fan (me!) preview before the actual preview.  You may recognize this one: 

Look, Sixers, if you had one shot, one opportunity
To tank, and draft every player you ever wanted
Would you trade away everyone that mattered?
Or go for W's.


My Spencer Hawes jersey is sweaty, Bynum's knees are weak
There's rumors already, Embiid's injuries make everyone shriek
We're nervous, and on the surface we are tense and ready
For Sam Hinkie to get heady, but he keeps on trading around
The crowd grows so anxious, hoping the 28th doesn't end with a frown
Silver opens his mouth, will Andrew Wiggins come out?
Sixers fans are hoping now, no one will be moping tomorrow
Clock's run out, time's up, who'd we pick?!?

Snap back to reality fools, and get excited about this year's NBA Draft.  A lot of team's futures hang in the balance on Thursday, June 28 and my beloved Philadelphia 76ers are one of those teams.  Other big markets in the NBA such as the Celtics and Lakers, also are looking to put the pieces back together and return to championship form.  Like every year, the draft has its story lines, and that is no different this year.  However, I can't remember a draft, basketball or non, where there has been this much flip flopping around the league on who should be going No. 1 overall.  That decision might have gotten a little easier a few days ago, or not, but lets check out some of the big headlines that should persist through Thursday.  

Not  No. 1 yet Joel, put those fingers down
Joel Embiid:  
One of the three potential players to be selected first overall scared teams off at the end of the College Basketball season when his back came up lame.  Since then, he has gotten healthy, participated in a couple work outs, looked to be on his way to be taken No. 1, and then it happened.  News broke last week that Embiid had broken a bone in his foot and was headed under the knife.  All hell broke loose, I could only laugh, some cried (maybe).  

With that news in hand, I knew the top of the draft was about to get even more complicated than expected.  Cleveland was mostly expected to take Joel prior to the foot injury, now its anybody's guess.  They very well could still pick him, but the injury is expected to take 4-6 months to heal, and the Cavaliers want to make a push to win now. Will he drop dramatically like fellow tall and long dude, Nerlens Noel, did in 2013? I'll be on the edge of my seat waiting to find out.

Stressful, isn't it, Kevin?
Who Love's Kevin the most? 
Kevin Love, arguably the best power forward in the NBA, is unhappy in Minnesota and has made it known he will not be signing any long term contracts there after the 2014-2015 season.  Instead of letting him walk for nothing, the Wolves should trade him, and the time to do that is either this Thursday at the draft or wait until the trade deadline during the season.  Trading him on draft night will, in my opinion, get the Wolves more value than holding him for half the season.  Much of the NBA is lining up for Love's services, but this is where it gets hazy for everyone involved.  

Teams that want to trade for him, also will want to have the guarantee that they can sign Love to a long term extension.  Were a team to trade for him and then see him leave in free agency, that team would be severely set back after giving up multiple pieces to acquire the power forward and only one season of K-Love balling out in their gym.  This caveat has teams hesitant to offer up a lot, especially if they know he is unwilling to sign long-term.  It also puts Minnesota in a hole. Naturally, they would like to extract some value for one of the best players in the league instead of losing him to free agency. Unfortunately for them, they might not find a team with enough valuable assets in conjunction with Love wanting to stay with that team for the long haul. There is a very real chance that Kevin Love is with a different team come draft time, but you'll have to tune in to find out!

No Michael, that 1 doesn't stand for your Sixers' tenure
Is MCW Really on the block?  
If you thought you were going to get to the end of this with out me talking about the 76ers again, all I got for you is nope.  Michael Carter Williams, reigning Rookie of the Year, potential stud in the making, is right in the middle of the rumor mill.  It has been reported that the 76ers are looking to acquire more picks than they already have. If you lost count they have seven this year, seven of 60 total picks in the draft.  Williams' name has come up in recent days, but these reports have come from the media, and never the team itself.  

For that reason, I believe these proposals of MCW getting dealt somewhere to be false. To me, it is more likely that media members are just throwing scenarios out there hoping to get a reaction of some sort out of the Sixers' front office.  Over one year's time it has become obvious that Sam Hinkie and crew are not going to leak any information, ever. My evidence, the Jrue Holiday trade that shook the fan base this time last year. They don't believe in divulging strategies, and even if these rumors are false you can bet they aren't going to confirm their falsehood.  Could these rumors shelter some truth? Sure, but don't expect to hear about any move involving the point guard until after it has happened.

For everything NBA Draft, check out this website, start popping your corn and find your coziest seat, this draft is going to get rowdy.

Cole Miller, from Haddonfield, NJ, is currently a sophomore Sport Management major at Drexel. Over the summer, Cole volunteered for the 43rd SABR convention, a large convention with many speakers and other events for baseball fans who enjoy the new age statistics being brought to baseball such as WAR (wins above replacement ).   Cole is a huge fan of baseball, specifically the Phillies.

You can connect on Cole on LinkedIn here.

No comments:

Post a Comment