Weekly NBA Fix 6-21-14: More Drafting Than NASCAR

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Once upon a time, Tyrus Thomas was the prospect with the unbelievable upside. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell:USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Weekly NBA Fix for Saturday, June 21. With the 2013-14 season officially over and the NBA shifting into offseason mode, HoopsHabit is doing the same by making the Fix a weekly, rather than a daily, staple.

We are T-minus five days until the NBA Draft descends on Brooklyn Thursday night and much of the current buzz around the league revolves around which player with unlimited upside, ludicrous length, wonderous wingspan and prominent potential will end up disappointing which NBA city near you in a few months.

That is certainly not to imply that every player chosen will be a bust, rather just a reliance on the overwhelming statistical reality that most of them will probably not become the superstars that fan bases so desperately crave.

And since the trend in drafting basketball players has shifted so markedly from drafting actual basketball players to drafting athletic freaks who might actually someday become basketball players, the hit-and-miss potential leans even more heavily in the direction that gets general managers posting resumes on 6figurejobs.com.

I’m actually not that worried about the guys at the top of the draft—Andrew Wiggins has uber upside, yes, but he’s also—from what I saw in the limited sample size at Kansas—a fairly proficient player of basketball. The same goes for Jabari Parker.

Where I start to get nervous is with the Noah Vohlehs and Aaron Gordons of the world—guys who didn’t exactly overwhelm at the collegiate level, but showed lots of freakish athleticism and a little bit of basketball ability.

In other words, Tyrus Thomas.

Joel Embiid, of course, has broken himself off from the pack into a whole different category, one filled with the tragic career tales of Bill Walton, Sam Bowie, Yao Ming, Brad Daugherty and, potentially, Brook Lopez.

I am not an NBA general manager (but I have played one on stage). However, if I were, I’m not sure there is enough blackmail powder in the world that would make me write Embiid’s name on an index card and send it up to Commissioner Adam (“Why yes, yes that is a new advertisement on the lapel of my suit.”) Silver.

From what I have seen, Embiid has the pieces to be a wonderful basketball player. But two stress-related fractures in four months? I’m not even sure I can see Embiid’s 7-foot frame over the pile of red flags that is now surrounding him.

The Weekly NBA Fix will focus on the happenings around the Association. But it just wouldn’t be The Fix without some sort of video at the end of the first slide and if you love crossovers, you’ll love this one—the top 10 crossovers of the 2014 NBA Playoffs:


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