By Ben Sullivan
Joel Embiid’s foot stress fracture has thrown next Thursday’s NBA draft into chaos, and ESPN.com’s Chad Ford now believes the Sixers will take Australian 6-6 swingman Dante Exum (photo above) with the third pick in the draft and Kentucky’s Julius Randle with the 10th:
“The Embiid injury was bad news for the 76ers. It puts them farther away from landing Wiggins at No. 3. There’s still a chance he could fall to No. 3 — if the Cavs took Parker and the Bucks took Exum. But that scenario is unlikely. The Sixers took a risk and drafted an injured Nerlens Noel last year, so there’s a chance they could draft Embiid this year. However, I don’t think Embiid is a great fit in Philly. The Sixers have been enamored of Exum for months. With Exum a bigger possibility, don’t be surprised if they step up their efforts to trade Michael Carter-Williams for another lottery pick.
“If the Sixers go with a wing early, then I think they go big here if they can. There are also scenarios where Randle could slide now that it’s known he has a foot issue. Landing Randle would be a huge coup for the team if they believe his foot won’t be a long-term issue. He would be the perfect complement to Nerlens Noel on the front line and give them a big man who can run the floor and command a double-team in the paint. A grouping of Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle would be a formidable young core going forward.
“Dario Saric is also real possibility here. His agent told ESPN.com on Monday that Saric had decided to keep his name in the draft. The Sixers were big fans of Saric last year and his play this year should help cement his status as a lottery pick. He would be a great fit for Philly.”