Former Kansas Jayhawks’ Joel Embiid could be the top-overall pick in the draft.
Although Embiid missed both the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament with back issues, he could answer questions about his injury during his workouts (he recently worked out for the Cleveland Cavaliers) and there is now a “growing consensus” that Embiid will go first).
However, if the Cavaliers go in a different direction, Embiid could see a little bit of a slide. Joel Brigham doesn’t expect Embiid to fall much, but sees a scenario where he is available at five when the Utah Jazz go on the clock.
Absolutely no lower than Utah at #5. I could envision a scenario where, if Embiid gets red flagged, Cleveland takes Wiggins, Milwaukee takes Parker, Philly takes Exum, and Orlando takes Marcus Smart. That would leave Embiid for Utah at #5, and they really need help at the center position, so he’d make a lot of sense. The next tier of guys don’t offer the same kind of upside, and at #5 you can live with a mistake with Embiid doesn’t work out. I think 5 is his floor, though I’ll be putting him at #1 in ever mock I write until I explicitly hear or read that Cleveland is taking someone else. He’s their most logical pick. I don’t like that he is, but I think it’s where they’ll ultimately end up going.
Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 1.4 assists and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 62.6% from the field, 20.0% from beyond the arc and 68.5% from the free throw line. According to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, Embiid is the second-best prospect in the draft (behind his teammate, forward Andrew Wiggins).