In a matter of months, the Milwaukee Bucks will likely have a new franchise player expected to lift the once-successful team back amongst the NBA’s elite.
The Bucks, who owned the worst record in the league at 15-67 this season and have missed the playoffs six of the last eight years, have a 25 percent chance of landing the top overall pick for June 26th’s NBA Draft.
Who Milwaukee could select appears to come down to a handful of players, with Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins leading the way. Rated the top freshman in the country before the season began, Wiggins averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals a game while guiding the Jayhawks to a 25-10 overall record and a Big-12 Conference championship.
After Wiggins, Lawrence-teammate and seven-foot center Joel Embiid is in the running for the top overall selection, as well as first-team All-American and Duke forward Jabari Parker and Kentucky power forward and NCAA Tournament runner-up Julius Randle.
It’s likely one of the four will end up in Milwaukee or to a slew of teams eyeing the top overall selection. After the Bucks, the Philadelphia 76ers are next up with a 19.9 percent chance of winning the draft lottery, followed by the Orlando Magic (15.6), Utah Jazz (10.4) and Boston Celtics (10.3).
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The final draft order will be determined and announced on Tuesday, May 20.
Each organization will have to make a choice between team needs and the best player available, and based on upside alone, Wiggins appears to be the clear-cut choice. Milwaukee was 28th in the NBA in points scored, 24th in rebounding and 25th in points allowed, so the possible addition of Wiggins will only be the start of a major overhaul.
Due to several trades over the last few years, Philadelphia and Orlando could have as many as two picks in the top 10, while Phoenix and Oklahoma City may have as many as three first-round selections. Chicago and Boston could also have two first-round picks, and Utah will have two selections.
The mock draft below only includes players who have officially declared for the draft. Players have until April 27 to make a final decision on whether to enter the draft or remain in school or overseas for another year.
1.Milwaukee: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, SG
2.Philadelphia: Joel Embiid, Kanas, C
3.Orlando: Julius Randle, PF
4.Utah: Jabari Parker, SF
5.Boston: Noah Vonleh, PF
6.LA Lakers: Dante Exum, PG
7.Sacramento: Tyler Ennis, PG
8.Detroit: Aaron Gordon, PF
9.Cleveland: Garry Harris, SG
10.Philadelphia: James Young, SG
11.Denver: Doug McDermott, SF
12.Orlando: Marcus Smart, PG
13.Minnesota: Zach LaVine, PG/SG
14.Phoenix: Dario Saric, SF/PF
19.Chicago: Shabazz Napier PG
20.Toronto: Nik Stauskas, SG
21.Oklahoma City: Cleanthony Early, SF
22.Memphis: Adreian Payne, PF
23.Utah: Jerami Grant, SF
24.Charlotte: Kyle Anderson, PF
25.Houston: Rodney Hood, SG/PG
26.Miami: P.J. Hairston, PG
27.Phoenix: Jarnell Stokes, PF
28.LA Clippers: TJ Warren, SF
29.Oklahoma City: Clint Capela
30.San Antonio: C.J. Wilcox, SG