NBA mock draft: Joel Embiid's injury changes everything

Jamie Squire

The injury to potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid has thrown the top of the draft into chaos. Here is what our two draft experts think will end up happening on Thursday.

Since we last did an NBA mock draft, the potential No. 1 pick suffered a stress fracture that has his status up in the air. With the draft now three days away, it's as good a time as ever to take stock of the changing landscape at the top of the draft.

I alternated picks with SB Nation's draft expert Tyler Lashbrook. Here's the result.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers - Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

Cleveland was horrible defending on the perimeter last season and Wiggins would help fix that immediately. He isn't yet a great creator in half-court situations, but that is aided by playing alongside Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. This is the perfect spot for him to come in, defend and develop at his own pace on the offensive end. -Tyler Lashbrook

2. Milwaukee Bucks - Jabari Parker, Duke

The only way the Bucks are ever going to get an elite scorer in Milwaukee is by drafting him. Parker's ready-made offensive game with ability to score from all three levels is a great compliment to Giannis Antetokounmpo's athleticism and defensive potential. -Ricky O'Donnell

3. Philadelphia 76ers - Dante Exum, Australia

Pairing Exum with Michael Carter-Williams isn't ideal unless one or both become reliable perimeter shooters, but it's terrifying on defense and in transition. Philadelphia could implement a hybrid, two point guard system — much like the Suns use with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe — and let the pairing grow alongside one another from there. -TL

4. Orlando Magic - Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

The Magic need to pair Victor Oladipo with a point guard who can handle the ball on offense and cover shooting guards on defense. Smart can do both. Now Jacque Vaughn just needs to find a way to do what Travis Ford could not: get Smart to stop jacking so many shots that would even make Russell Westbrook blush. -RO

5. Utah Jazz - Joel Embiid, Kansas

I can't let Embiid fall any farther than five. Utah can't seem to figure out how to use the Enes Kanter-Derrick Favors pairing, so drafting Embiid allows them to flip one of the two. Plus, Embiid stays out of Boston. Win-win for everyone but Celtics fans. -TL

6. Boston Celtics - Aaron Gordon, Arizona

Gordon is a monster athlete with the potential to be a great defender across multiple positions. His offensive game remains a work in progress, but it helps that he's the youngest player in this draft. In time, he could be a Shawn Marion-type of difference maker. -RO

7. Los Angeles Lakers - Noah Vonleh, Indiana

L.A. needs talent in the worst of ways. Vonleh has the build and skill set to blossom into a hyper stretch 4 with shot blocking ability. Will he actually ever reach his ceiling? I don't know, but the Lakers are in a position to take chances. -TL

8. Sacramento Kings - Julius Randle, Kentucky

If the Kings are able to keep Isaiah Thomas in free agency, they'll have a point guard, shooting guard (Ben McLemore), small forward (Rudy Gay) and center (DeMarcus Cousins). Randle would give them a promising young power forward to complete the lineup with more skill than many realize. -RO

9. Charlotte Hornets - Nik Stauskas, Michigan

The then-Bobcats had horrible perimeter shooting last year. Let's start fresh with Nik Stauskas! The former Michigan Wolverine is a fantastic shooter and can aide Kemba Walker in handling the ball. Plus, he can be cross matched with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on defense. -TL

10. Philadelphia 76ers - Zach LaVine, UCLA

This may seem high for LaVine, but the Sixers are in a position to go big. LaVine would be benefited by a team facing little pressure to win. The 76ers would be benefited by getting a player with all the ridiculous bounce and every tool you'd look for in a star guard. No. 10 won't seem like so much of a reach a few years from now. -RO

11. Denver Nuggets - Gary Harris, Michigan State

Denver could use help all over the place, but I like the idea of adding his two way game in the backcourt beside Ty Lawson. Harris would thrive in a fast pace game and would provide some much needed perimeter defense for the Nuggets. -TL

12. Orlando Magic - Dario Saric, Croatia

Saric is a 6'10 forward who is supposed to have the passing ability and basketball IQ of a point guard. He's performed well against very good competition in Europe the last two years. Sounds like the type of player who could help elevate a team as offensively-challenged as Orlando.  -RO

13. Minnesota Timberwolves - Doug McDermott, Creighton

Minnesota is about to embark on a scary adventure in the world of rebuilding. Why not start that project off with a sure thing? McDermott won't defend anything, but he's a deadly long range shooter. -TL

14. Phoenix Suns - Adreian Payne, Michigan State

The Suns were close to coming out of nowhere to make the playoffs in the West last year. Payne should be able to come in and play right away as a perimeter-shooting big man. He'd be a natural replacement for Channing Frye should Phoenix lose him in free agency. -RO

15. Atlanta Hawks - Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia

Atlanta is in a pretty good, flexible position moving forward and can take a chance on Nurkic, the guy left with the highest upside. The 7-foot 19-year-old Bosnian fouls a ton, but he's already a very productive scorer and rebounder. -TL

16. Chicago Bulls - Kyle Anderson, UCLA

The Bulls need someone who can create shots, and Anderson offers a unique ability to do it for a 6'9 guy. He is the only player in this draft with the ability to play four positions. -RO

17. Boston Celtics - James Young, Kentucky

Boston needs to gather young assets all over the floor, and at 18 years old, Young's one of the youngest guys in the draft. He's a streaky shooter with a good bit of athleticism and terrific size (6'6, 7' wingspan) for a wing player. -TL

18. Phoenix Suns - Clint Capela, Switzerland

Capela has the length and explosiveness to be a good finisher and rim protector. The Suns have enough picks to gamble on him. -RO

19. Chicago Bulls - Jordan Adams, UCLA

Some might consider this a reach, but Adams is a very good offensive player. The Bulls, if they choose to keep both picks, could use Adams' boost on that end of the floor. Plus, Ricky already took Kyle Anderson at No. 16. Two Bruins! It's a match made in heaven. -TL

20. Toronto Raptors - Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

There are a ton of great young basketball players coming out of Canada right now. It's about time the Raptors get one of them. -RO

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - P.J. Hairston, Texas Legends

Elfrid Payton was an intriguing choice here, but the Thunder need another guy who can score. Hairston spent 26 games in the D-League, shot nearly eight long balls a game and netted 36 percent of them. -TL

22. Memphis Grizzlies - T.J. Warren, NC State

Warren would be a big-time steal here. He's a tweener with an ugly three-point shot, but he has incredible touch both around the rim and from mid-range. The man just gets buckets. You can do a lot worse than that with the No. 22 pick. -RO

23. Utah Jazz - Rodney Hood, Duke

This is a pretty steep fall for Hood, who could potentially end up in the back end of the lottery, but the Jazz would be happy to add his services here. He can play both ends of the floor and is a reliable shooter. Those types of guys find ways to stay in the league. -TL

24. Charlotte Hornets - K.J. McDaniels, Clemson

McDaniels' ability to defend multiple positions should make Steve Clifford happy. After going with offense (Stauskas) with their pick, the Hornets add someone who can be a game-changer on the other end of the floor. -RO

25. Houston Rockets - Elfrid Payton, Louisana-Lafayette

It's more likely that a team selecting in the teens or higher takes a flier on Payton, but this is about where he should go. He can provide the defense that Patrick Beverley does, but he's bigger and better at setting up his teammates. Payton is a horrible shooter and needs to be surrounded by guys who can knock down shots. That's the type of environment that Houston can provide. -TL

26. Miami Heat - Shabazz Napier, UConn

Napier falling to No. 26 would be a dream for the Heat. Their only regret is that they didn't have him for the NBA Finals. -RO

27. Phoenix Suns - Jerami Grant, Syracuse

Provided Phoenix keeps this pick, Jerami Grant is a fun selection. He likely won't find much playing time in his first year or two, but he's an incredible athlete, so the upside is there. -TL

28. Los Angeles Clippers - Mitch McGary, Michigan

The Clippers need a third big man desperately, and McGary offers a huge frame with a nice face-up jumper. It likely wouldn't take long for him to be an upgrade over Glen Davis. -RO

29. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee

Stokes is a brick house who knows how to play the game. How many guys can take a 7'1.25 wingspan, add 260 pounds of blubbery muscle to it and still hit free throws at nearly 70 percent? Stokes can. He's the type of big man that will be ready to play soon, someone Oklahoma City could use in the playoffs. -TL

30. San Antonio Spurs - Vasilije Micic, Serbia

/Cut to scene of Vasilije Micic accepting Finals MVP three years from now. -RO

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