Sports Briefs: We're Not in Kansas Anymore

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Chris: I have come to the conclusion that NBA Draft experts are ding-dongs. The Kansas Jayhawks finished their basketball season by losing in the NCAA Tournament to Stanford in the Round of 32. Andrew Wiggins scored four points in his final game, in what was either a disappointing performance or a standout performance (only assuming that he had been shot with a horse tranquilizer). Wiggins’ taller teammate, Joel Embiid, has only been practicing basketball for five years and may or may not know how to dribble yet. And these two Jayhawks were two out of the top three picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Joe: I believe Joel Embiid will have a better NBA career than Andrew Wiggins because his skills are great, and his upside is better. He will be a defensive all-star and shot blocker. Wiggins is great but not aggressive enough.

Ralphie: Right now, I think Andrew Wiggins is the safe bet, but Joel Embiid will be great if he can get healthy.

Brad: I think that Joel Embiid will probably have a better NBA career. They are both skilled players, but I think Joel is keeping some of his talent and skill under wraps. I think he is more capable than we have seen on the court yet, while it seems that Wiggins needs to hone his skills a bit more.

Chris: Wiggins may have dropped on many teams’ draft boards after he cut his hair, which knocked at least two if not three inches off his height.

Ralphie: If Embiid were not injured, he would definitely be a top draft pick.

Brad: It would make me widen my list of draft prospects. I would worry, since he's already injured at this stage in his career, would he be prone to future injuries.

Chris: Knowing that they don’t even have to make the Sweet 16 to be drafted, the rest of the Jayhawks are either out shopping for what to wear in next year’s draft or are considering giving up basketball, thinking it will help their draft potential. And I’m not sure what else the Kansas water boys have to do for Jay Bilas to notice their abundant upside, especially considering they are in better health right now than Embiid.

Joe: If Embiid had not injured his back and foot, he would have been the first pick. His size and skills are awesome.

Ralphie: Since he IS injured, I wouldn't use a top-level draft pick on him. Even though a healthy Embiid would be a powerhouse, there's no guarantee that he will ever be 100% again.

Brad: I think if he weren't injured, they should still be cautious, as they don't want someone who has more potential to get injured and loose court time.

Joe: I would think he is worth the risk in the top 3-5. Too great of a size and skill set to pass up.

Chris: If the Cavaliers were planning on taking Embiid before he got injured, and if owner Dan Gilbert was unable to complete a deal with another team to trade the No. 1 pick for two slightly lower draft picks and an above average player, allowing them to draft Embiid lower, then this causes me to severely question how effective Gilbert would be as a hostage negotiator. And it probably strikes him off my list of people to shop with at a flea market.

Joe: Once he heals and becomes a defensive star, the teams that passed on him will regret it; however, they drafted good players in his place.

Brad: No, I don't think so. There's always the chance of injury. And with a back injury, he could have future complications that could affect his game play. There's always another star player that every team wants to draft.

Ralphie: They may live to regret it if he heals all the way, but they've got to make the right choice with what they know right now and not what they might regret in the future.

Chris: Wiggins has already proven his vast potential, in that he persuaded the Cavaliers to select him, convincing them he was capable of scoring more than four points in important games. So I would allow Wiggins to use his talents to bamboozle Embiid into thinking that basketball is like soccer, in that he is not allowed to use his hands and should use his height to head the ball into the net as often as possible. I would also not allow Embiid to enjoy the benefits of a handicap parking space when he comes to Cleveland.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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