Greg Oden's image still looms large over the NBA draft seven years later. Just when it looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers had a no-brainer selection staring at them with the first pick, Joel Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his foot. Combine that with the injury in his back that prevented him from playing in the NCAA Tournament, and Embiid now seems like he has too many medical red flags to go No. 1.
Embiid's medical issues may be a far cry from the chronic knee problems that ruined Oden's career, but he'd have a tough time convincing any team to take him No. 1 with players as good as Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker available.
How far will Embiid slide? It's the big question now that the 2014 draft is finally here. Here's our best guess at projecting the first round.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: SF Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
The front office reportedly likes Parker, but he was a poor fit for the roster even before a sluggish private workout in Cleveland. The Cavaliers already drafted a huge, score-first combo forward No. 1 overall last year in Anthony Bennett. There simply won't be enough basketballs to go around in Cleveland if Parker is the pick.
Wiggins would fill a major need at small forward and also give the Cavs a player who can impact the game without the ball in his hands. If Cleveland doesn't feel comfortable with Embiid's medical history, Wiggins' athleticism and defense makes him an obvious pick.
2. Milwaukee Bucks: F Jabari Parker, Duke
Parker is a great fit for the Bucks. Next to a tall, rangy forward with loads of defensive potential in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Parker can focus on what he does best: scoring. Miwaukee is never going to attract a big-time scorer in free agency, so they may as well try to tab one in the draft.
3. Philadelphia 76ers: C Joel Embiid, Kansas
Embiid is the draft's biggest wildcard. I've put him at No. 1 in mock drafts since the lottery, but his broken foot will cause him to tumble down the board at least a little bit. At a certain point, his talent is just too significant to pass up if a team feels comfortable that his health issues won't be chronic moving forward.
The 76ers drafted a center last year who sat out his entire rookie season in Nerlens Noel. GM Sam Hinkie knows the value of size and rim protection. Philadelphia may do it again.
4. Orlando Magic: G Dante Exum, Australia
The Magic need to a find another guard to pair with Victor Oladipo in the backcourt, and Exum is the perfect candidate. Exum's ability to handle the ball on offense and defend shooting guards on defense should only aid Oladipo in his development.
5. Utah Jazz: PF Noah Vonleh, Indiana
Vonleh might not be ready to make a big impact next season as the second youngest player in the draft, but he has the size and shooting touch to to be a very good player someday. Studying under Derrick Favors as a rookie is a great way to learn.
6. Boston Celtics: PF Julius Randle, Kentucky
Randle has short arms and isn't considered a good defender yet, but his college production speaks for itself. He's a throwback-type player to a time before every power forward needed to shoot threes. With brute strength, deceptive ball handling ability and some developing left-handed post moves, he could make an impact for Boston right away.
7. Los Angeles Lakers: PG Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Do you think Kobe could help Marcus Smart stop taking so many bad shots? There's a lot to like about the Oklahoma State point guard once he learns how to play under control. In Los Angeles, he'd likely be afforded the opportunity to learn on the job with early playing time.
8. Sacramento Kings: F Aaron Gordon, Arizona
The Kings have enough players who need the ball in their hands with DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore. Gordon can make an impact with his defense, passing and versatility. He's the youngest player in the draft, but the Kings have time to allow him to grow. He and Wiggins are the two most athletic players available.
9. Charlotte Hornets: F Doug McDermott, Creighton
The Hornets need a shooter next to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. McDermott was such a dominant all-around scorer at the college level that some may forget how pure his shooting stroke is. Don't worry Michael Jordan, he's not the next Adam Morrison.
10. Philadelphia 76ers: G Nik Stauskas, Michigan
Stauskas is one of the two best shooters in the draft, and would be a nice compliment to Michael Carter-Williams in the backcourt.
11. Denver Nuggets: SG Gary Harris, Michigan State
Harris is jack of all trades and master of none on offense, but he's a great defender that has been battle-tested under Tom Izzo.
12. Orlando Magic: C Jusuf Nurkic, Bosnia
If Orlando goes with a guard at No. 4, they will likely try to add size with their second lottery pick. Nurkic is purported to have soft hands and a nice touch around the rim. When you're 6'11 and 280 lbs., that's about all you need to leave a impact on the court.
13. Minnesota Timberwolves - G Zach LaVine, UCLA
LaVine is all about tools instead of production. He did nothing at UCLA that would inspire a team to make him a lottery pick, but his athleticism, shooting and ball handling leaves an impression in workouts that he could be a star. Minnesota is likely about to lose one in Kevin Love, so why not swing for the fences here?
14. Phoenix Suns - PF Adreian Payne, Michigan State
If the Suns lose Channing Frye this offseason, Payne would be an obvious replacement. Most 42 percent three-point shooters aren't 6'10. He's older than Kawhi Leonard, but advanced age helped Gorgui Dieng and Mason Plumlee make an impact as rookies last season.
15. Atlanta Hawks - F Dario Saric, Anadolu Efes (Turkey)
Saric won't be over to the NBA for at least two years, but his versatile game and advanced basketball IQ might be too much to pass up at this point in the first round. Remember, the Hawks drafted two international players (Dennis Schroeder and Lucas Nogueira) in round one last year.
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16. Chicago Bulls - F Kyle Anderson, UCLA
What Anderson lacks in athleticism, he more than makes up for with length and passing ability. For a Bulls offense that failed to get easy looks so often last season, Anderson's floor vision could be a big boost.
17. Boston Celtics - F T.J. Warren, N.C. State
No one on the Celtics averaged 17 points per game last season. Warren dropped 20 or more points in 19 straight games at one point with the Wolfpack. Boston could use his offense.
18. Phoenix Suns - SF Rodney Hood, Duke
After going with a shooter at No. 14, Phoenix opts for another shooter at No. 18. Hood made 42 percent of his three-pointers last year, and has the size to develop into a nice 3 and D wing.
19. Chicago Bulls - PG Shabazz Napier, UConn
Napier proved his abilities for four years at UConn. He could be the rare rookie to step in and play from day one under Tom Thibodeau.
20. Toronto Raptors - PG Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
The Canadian-bred point guard can help whether Kyle Lowry returns or not. Ennis isn't a big-time athlete, but his basketball savvy is years beyond his age.
21. Oklahoma City Thunder - SG James Young, Kentucky
The Thunder love long athletes and Young fits the bill. He doesn't turn 19 until August, but he has the tools to be a nice long-term bet.
22. Memphis Grizzlies - SG P.J. Hairston, North Carolina
Hairston is a physical guard who can shoot the ball with range. He'll fit right in with the Grizzlies.
23. Utah Jazz - SG Jordan Adams, UCLA
The Jazz have nice young players all over the roster, giving them the ability to use this pick on the best player available. Adams is about as unathletic as NBA guards come, but he's a crafty scorer and thief on defense. The advanced stats love him.
24. Charlotte Hornets - C Mitch McGary, Michigan
The Hornets reportedly gave McGary a promise with this pick. Adding the former Michigan center alongside Doug McDermott would go a long way toward fixing Charlotte's spacing issues last season.
25. Houston Rockets - C Clint Capela, Switzerland
Capela's long arms and athleticism give him nice long-term potential. He would also offer the Rockets immediate cap savings as a draft-and-stash European player.
26. Miami Heat - PG Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette
Payton could go as high as the lottery, but enough teams have point guards that a fall this far down the board isn't out of the question. He can't shoot yet, but he's big and athletic enough to offer an upgrade over Miami's current point guards in a year or so.
27. Phoenix Suns - F Jerami Grant, Syracuse
Grant may need a year or two of seasoning in the D-League before he's ready for major minutes, but the Suns can accommodate that with three first round picks. He is one of the most athletic players in the draft. He just needs to learn how to harness it.
28. Los Angeles Clippers - C Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee
Los Angeles badly needs a third big, and Stokes has the size and touch around the rim to project as that early in his career. At 263 pounds with a 7'1 wingspan, he's physically equipped for the job.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder - SF K.J. McDaniels, Clemson
McDaniels projects as a versatile defender with a huge wingspan. How many 6'6 guys average nearly three blocks per game?
30. San Antonio Spurs - G Bogdan Bogdanovic, KK Partizan
The safest bet in any mock draft is projecting an international player to San Antonio. As you might have heard, they've had a little bit of success doing things this way.