The NBA Draft is three days away and the pre-draft season has been as crazy as ever, with rumors flying everywhere, injuries popping up out of nowhere and mock drafts around the internet in chaos. Joel Embiid could be the next Tim Duncan or he could be the next Greg Oden and where exactly a player with his preposterous range of outcomes ends up going will have a butterfly effect on the rest of the first round.
I usually write about the draft at a lot of places around the internet, but I decided to try something different this year. If you follow me on Twitter, you've seen me plug this plenty over the last few weeks, but if not, I'll take this opportunity to plug it here - The Pattern of Basketball and the 2014 NBA Draft, 70+ pages of basketball writing about the draft at the price of $3.99.
It's split into two sections. The first part is the process for how I'm evaluating these guys. The basic idea is there are five things you can do on a basketball court - create your own shot, shoot from the perimeter, create a shot for someone else, rebound the ball and defend a position - and five positions you can do it from - PG, SG, SF, PF and C. That means every line-up you put on the floor is a 5x5 matrix and you want as many +'s in those boxes as possible.
So when you're evaluating players for the NBA, you want guys who fill out those checklists.
The second part is write-ups of most of the top players in this year's draft from that perspective. For the tl; dr version of those, there's a Top 13 list over at RealGM:
1) Joel Embiid (I'm not a doctor, so I can only rate these guys on my perception of their basketball ability. A back injury and a foot injury for a young 7'0 sure doesn't sound good though.)
2) Dante Exum
4) Noah Vonleh
5) Aaron Gordon
6) Zach LaVine
8) Jusuf Nurkic
10) Marcus Smart
11) Kyle Anderson
12) TJ Warren
13) Adreian Payne
If you're into that kind of thing, check out the e-book. If not, talk amongst yourselves in the comments. There's going to be a whole lot of nonsense in the media over the next three days, but for those of you who aren't into the World Cup, the draft will be one of the more interesting sports things of the summer.
For the first time in awhile, there isn't a Texas connection, but that will change next year, when Myles Turner should be in the discussion for a Top 10 pick, regardless of what he does in a UT uniform. He's going to match up with Karl Towns when we play Kentucky in non-conference play and that's going to be NBA draft porn.