Two screws, one foot, zero predictability.
The top of the NBA draft looked like a sure thing to forecast a week ago (always a dangerous statement), the first few picks a simple lock until Joel Embiid unexpectedly underwent surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot.
Welcome back, draft chaos.
Embiid could sit out a long swath of next season and the Cleveland Cavaliers could start his tumble from the first overall pick to…where exactly?
Thursday’s NBA draft will obviously reveal answers to many story lines.
What will the Philadelphia 76ers, losers of 26 consecutive games last season, do with two top-10 picks? And Orlando with two of the top 12 picks?
Will the Boston Celtics get back to respectability before their long-time Lakers rivals? Both teams were lousy last season but the Celtics are kicking off a five-year run with 10 possible first-round picks.
That the Lakers have a first-rounder, period, is big news after seven straight years of trading or selling it.
Here’s one attempt at sorting out all the draft-day questions.
NBA MOCK DRAFT:
1. Cleveland: Jabari Parker, Duke, small forward, 6-8, 235.
Might lose his job before ever taking the Cavaliers’ court if you-know-who ends up leaving Miami for Cleveland.
2. Milwaukee: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, small forward, 6-8, 200.
Lesson to college players: Even if you score four points in your final game, millions upon millions can still be yours.
3. Philadelphia: Joel Embiid, Kansas, center, 7-0, 240.
The 76ers might lose 26 consecutive games again if they take the injured Embiid with an eye toward 2015-16.
4. Orlando: Dante Exum, Australia, point guard. 6-6, 196.
5. Utah: Noah Vonleh, Indiana, power forward, 6-10, 247.