On Friday a report surfaced that former Kansas Jayhawks’ center Joel Embiid may no longer be in play for the Cleveland Cavaliers with the top-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft because of a bad physical.
Embiid has suffered through back problems that kept him out of the end of the season for the Jayhawks – he missed both the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA tournament.
The news came as a bit of a surprise because after Embiid arrived in Cleveland, several reports indicated the Cavaliers may be higher on Embiid than they have ever been before and some pegged him as the favorite to go number one. Of course, any injury problems would change that, especially after the Cavaliers took former UNLV Runnin’ Rebels’ forward Anthony Bennett last year.
Bennett came in injured and missed the offseason, including the Las Vegas Summer League, for the Cavaliers. Many have pointed to that as one of the reasons he struggled so mightily in his rookie season.
However, a conflicting report has since emerged. According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio, Embiid checked out just fine.
Cavs put Joel Embiid through rigorous workout. His physical checked out fine, source says.
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) June 13, 2014
The Cavaliers would probably like to trade the pick and are still considering Embiisd’s college teammate, forward Andrew Wiggins and former Duke Blue Devils’ forward Jabari Parker, but a talented big man may be too difficult to pass on.
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).