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Jan 18, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) celebrates after the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 80-78. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Draft: Joel Embiid's back not raising red flags

 

Kansas Jayhawks’ center Joel Embiid may be the draft’s most intriguing player.

The 7-foot, 250-pounder is raw, but is clearly extremely talented.

However, a back injury has kept him out of the NCAA Tournament and has hasn’t played since March 1. Back injuries, especially when they happen to centers, can scare teams off.

Although Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated still ranks Embiid second among draft eligible prospects (behind teammate Andrew Wiggins), there still are concerns about his back, but executives aren’t ready raise red flags.

Let’s be clear: Embiid’s back injury isn’t raising red flags among NBA executives — yet. Several executives with likely lottery picks told SI.com that they will wait to get a closer look at Embiid’s medicals before moving him down on their boards. For now, they still see Embiid as a strong defender with high-level physical tools and the form and footwork to develop into an elite two-way center.

Embiid averaged 11.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 62.6% from the field and 68.5% from the charity stripe this season.

Tags: 2014 NBA Draft Joel Embiid Kansas Jayhawks NBA Draft Rumors

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