The NBA draft pool is deeper than its been in years, and franchise fortunes can change with one phone call to the commissioner, for better or worse.
Freshmen sensations Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker came into the collegiate season ranked as surefire NBA prospects, and neither has disappointed, despite predictions to the contrary. Wiggins' college teammate Joel Embiid emerged onto the scene through the year, making teams rethink their "small ball" philosophy as his footwork had some folks saying the name "Hakeem Olajuwon."
Then Embiid underwent surgery on his right foot last week ó the leg he doesn't jump off, it should be noted. But now heís hearing comparisons of another kind ó to injury-riddled big men in the NBA's history.
Embiid represents the uncertainty of the draft, as do Wiggins and Parker. Take a player with injury problems now, you run the risk of adding him to the names of Greg Oden and Sam Bowie. Pass on him, and he develops for a rival down the line, then someone's job will answer for the mistake.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the first pick for the third time in four years, and their presence alone at that spot suggests obtaining top picks isnít the only key to returning to respectability.
The Pistons don't own a first-round pick thanks to a money-saving trade two years ago but could sneak into the bottom of the first round if it suits them.
Either way, a night of intrigue is upon us, one where winners and losers won't be determined until years down the line.
Check my mock draft 2.0 in the gallery above. Or click here if youíre having trouble seeing the gallery.