After undergoing surgery on his right foot to repair a navicular fracture, Joel Embiid will be out of action for 4-6 months. This has turned the 2014 NBA Draft on its head. Embiid’s injury could potentially provide the Utah Jazz with an opportunity to move up to a higher selection, but apparently the team’s front office is even more ambitious than I.
According to a report by Joe Kotoch, the team has offered their pick at No. 5, along with their defensive cornerstone Derrick Favors, in exchange for the No. 1 pick in the draft. The idea behind the deal is that Utah would take Jabari Parker at No. 1. Jazz radio personality Spencer Checketts, who has sources in NBA front offices, later confirmed the report on air and on Twitter with a slight twist:
Can confirm Jazz offered #5 and Favors to Cleveland for #1 pick. But source says target is Andrew Wiggins, not Jabari Parker.
— Spencer Checketts (@1280Spence) June 20, 2014
How the Jazz fanbase would react to Andrew Wiggins as opposed to Parker remains to be seen if such a deal can be consummated, but in my estimation, the swap would be a major coup for the rebuilding Utah franchise.
Some have also hypothesized that the Jazz could still select Embiid after such a trade, or that they would take him if he slipped to them at No. 5. However, in a league where we have the careers of Sam Bowie, Yao Ming and Greg Oden as case studies, I think banking on a player like Embiid is a risky proposition.
Either way, Derrick Favors and the No. 5 pick is a lot to give up for somebody who has yet to play a minute of NBA basketball. Favors was just signed to a long-term extension last summer and is well-liked by players, coaches and fans alike. But when you have the chance to acquire a player like Wiggins, don’t you have to strongly consider it?
According to my Magic 8-ball, all signs point toward yes.