According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, the Bucks will have a chance to get a closer look at three of the draft’s top prospects this week:
So this is encouraging.
With Dante Exum working out for the Bucks this past weekend, the team will have had an opportunity to host each of the consensus top four prospects in Milwaukee before the draft.
Rumors swirled after the lottery that some of the top prospects – well, Embiid, namely – may prefer to avoid playing in Milwaukee, and it seemed arranging workouts on the Bucks’ home turf would be a difficult task.
It’s the same rhetoric that gets tossed around each summer when discussing Milwaukee’s free agency appeal – or lack thereof. The weather is too cold, the city is boring, the team isn’t a contender.
And, really, it’s tough to contest any of these points. Milwaukee is bitterly cold for the vast majority of the NBA season. It’s not a cultural and entertainment hub. And after a 17-win campaign, the team is anything but a contender. And the end of the day, however, the players don’t hold much leverage in the situation.
It would have been fairly unprecedented for a prospect to refuse to play in Milwaukee. With money and ever-important reputation at stake, spurning the Cream City – or any similar market, for that matter – probably isn’t worth risking the “prima donna” label that would almost certainly follow a player trying to control his destiny from day one.
So perhaps that’s the thought process of Embiid, Parker and Wiggins. Or maybe the rumors suggesting their misgivings about Milwaukee were just that – rumors. Either way, there’s a very good chance the Bucks 2014 first round pick will be in Milwaukee this week.
The Bucks have already had a chance to see each of the top-tier prospects in person. Representatives, including GM John Hammond, traveled to Santa Monica last week to watch Parker, Embiid and Wiggins work out. And according to Ford, Hammond met with both Embiid and Parker over dinner.
Less than two weeks remain until the big night on June 26, and it’s still anyone’s guess who the selection will be at No. 2. Of course, it hinges heavily on Cleveland’s intentions with the first pick, but the Cavs are believed to still be considering multiple options. Embiid seems to be the frontrunner, though until he’s given a commitment by the Cavs – which happens more often in the NFL than NBA – it’s not worth reading into. Remember, a few days before the 2013 draft, Cleveland was widely rumored to select Alex Len first overall. They ended up taking Anthony Bennett, and Len fell all the way to Phoenix at No 5.