NBA Draft Stock Tracker: Week Three
Everyone knows about Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins, but what about the other two players in the Top Five? Joel Embiid and Dante Exum each deserve recognition. Both Exum and Embiid possess immense upsides, but they are two unknowns and any teams faces risks when selecting them.
Embiid is one of the Kansasʼ centers, and has already displayed why NBA general managers are enamored with his talent. Not only does Embiid have great jumping ability, he can recover quickly, like other athletic centers, and sometimes block two shots on the same play. There is no doubt that his athleticism will translate to the NBA, but Embiid has his problems, maybe too many for a top five pick.
Embiid hails from Yaounde, Cameroon, and only began playing basketball in 2011. He used to play volleyball, which explains his blocking and jumping ability, but concerns arise when you consider heʼs only been playing basketball for three years. Embiid has relatively good hands, and can rebound for the most part, averaging eight rebounds for the year, in only 19 minutes, but many of these boards come as a result of his increased size over college players. The Kansas center also has no offensive game to speak of, something that is incredibly hard to develop in the NBA. Embiid usually scores just by dunking or via easy layups. Drawing comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon, Embiid might be as athletic, but Olajuwon stayed in college for three years, developing his game. It could serve Embiid well to remain in college for at least another year. If
Embiid stays in college and develops a post game, he will definitely be deserving of a top five pick, otherwise he will be a project that the wrong team can turn into a bust.
Draft Stock: Unchanged
Exum is another foreigner that has a wave of mystery about him. Exum hails from Australia and scouts do not have that many chances to see him. Playing in the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit, Exum scored 16 points, playing against Jabari Parker and Julius Randle. In the 2013 U19 FIBA World Championships, Exum averaged 18.2 points and 3.8 assists, while leading Australia to the bronze medal. Exum has an incredible amount of upside, listed at 6-6, the Australian has elite athleticism and an extremely quick first step.
Exum is a scoring point guard, but should translate as a two-guard in the league. The Australian has been compared to Andrew Wiggins, just a tad shorter. Exum can score at will going to the rim, but must work on his jump shot to become a great NBA player. Every NBA GM and scout that has seen Exum swears he should be considered for the top five, and it is really hard to argue. Exum has all the skills to immediately make an impact in the league, and it should be a joy to watch him for years to come.
Timothy Alvarez is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.