NBA Report: Embiid checked out, but who’s No. 1?
A few quick Cavaliers notes as we move closer to the June 26 NBA Draft, and perhaps a decision on the head coach:
— Former Kansas center Joel Embiid was put through a rigorous individual workout during his visit earlier this week. Word is Embiid looked every bit as talented as expected and his physical checked out just fine. That means there were no major "red flags" about his troublesome back.
— Yes, there have been conflicting reports about Embiid, and here’s the bottom line: His back is a concern. Maybe not a major concern, and maybe not enough of a concern for the Cavs to pass on him with the No. 1 overall pick. But the stress fracture that caused Embiid to miss the postseason at Kansas is still on everyone’s mind. You don’t just wave a magic wand and make an injury like that go away forever. You need a little luck, and it needs to be monitored.
— It doesn’t seem like the Cavs have a frontrunner, and it’s doubtful one will be determined until at least next week — after ex-Kansas swingman Andrew Wiggins and ex-Duke forward Jabari Parker come in for their own individual workouts. The Cleveland Plain Dealer first reported both were coming to town and FOX Sports Ohio sources later confirmed: Wiggins will work out Wednesday, followed by Parker on Friday.
— Parker is believed to have been first on the Cavs’ draft board for most of the college basketball season, as well as immediately after the Cavs won the lottery. There’s no evidence that has changed. But there’s no evidence it hasn’t. Welcome to the fun of the NBA Draft.
— Two rumors floating around the Internet about Wiggins: He only wants to play for the Philadelphia 76ers; and the Sixers may be willing to trade their Nos. 3 and 10 picks to the Cavs for the first overall.
— OK, now the truth: 1. Wiggins’ camp has denied he only wants to play for Philly; 2. As of this moment, the Sixers have zero interest in trading the Nos. 3 and 10 picks for the first. Zero. Interest. It’s unclear whether the Cavs would want to make that deal, either. They seem to enjoy the power that comes with No. 1.
— The Bucks would be thrilled with Parker. So if the Cavs take Embiid, the Sixers will get their man in Wiggins (who they want badly). But the Sixers don’t like Wiggins enough to give up two young talented draft prospects for him, a source said. Read: As of today, they’re keeping the 10th pick.
— Finally, it may not be far-fetched to think the Cavs’ coaching search is now a three-man race between David Blatt, Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue. Talks between the Cavs and Blatt were said to be "heating up" Friday, with Blatt due in next week for a face-to-face interview. But it appears the Cavs are equally enthralled with Gentry and Lue, both Clippers assistants. This picture should be considerably clearer by the middle of next week.
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