I have something new up on B/R about how great Joel Embiid is as a prospect. Equally interesting is how this draft is shaping up once we get through the much publicized cream of the crop.
There are no "sure things" in this draft after Embiid - which isn't a criticism, but obviously needs to be acknowledged. As great as Jabari Parker has often looked his freshman year, his passing and defensive numbers have only been adequate, and there is a chance that his physical superiority will not be an overriding positive factor for him as a pro. I still think Parker will be a wonderful NBA player, but there is a chance he will only be good, and never great.
The same goes for Andrew Wiggins, even more so. There is nothing statistically that screams "star" when you look at Wiggins' numbers. I expect him to be an excellent NBA player, but would hardly be surprised if he stumbles, despite his exceptional physical skills.
Things get murkier outside the top 3. Everybody seems to think Dante Exum will be great - but there is relatively little to judge him by. That makes him an obvious risk, albeit a risk probably worth taking once the aforementioned players are off the board. Meanwhile, Marcus Smart has had an up and down sophomore year - but he still reminds me enough of Chauncey Billups to be taken early.
After those five top guys, this draft starts getting fun and very unclear. It is difficult to peg who the next five or ten best prospects are - it seems quite likely that a few future All-Stars will drop in a draft class like this one. The ten million dollar question, obviously, is who are those players? It's very difficult to say, but the incomparable Ed Weiland recently highlighted some excellent candidates. Players like Delon Wright, Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams seem like prime options to be late first round/second round steals.
There apparently is a lot of talent in this draft. It will be interesting to see how much of it ends up coming from the very top, and how much flows down to the rest of the first and second round. Right now, I have no idea - and that's an exciting thing.