Jan 18, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) dunks the ball against Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Markel Brown (22) in the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 80-78. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft Rumors: Joel Embiid’s ‘upside is too great to pass on’


Former Kansas Jayhawks’ center Joel Embiid may have the most upside in the entire draft.

However, his back injury could be scaring teams off.

Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders believes Embiid’s talent is too good to pass on.

I’m taking everything with a grain of salt because I don’t think the people who truly know about Embiid’s status are allowed to talk about it, even privately. It’s a really big deal, so of course people are going to speculate. But, I don’t think we’ll know the true extent of his health until draft night. Things like this stay under wraps. Last year, Otto Porter was flagged by a team for having a hip issue that they were concerned would eventually need surgery, but obviously the Washington Wizards weren’t scared away enough by it to draft him third overall. So even if there are concerns, I think Embiid’s upside is too great to pass on. I don’t think I really want to let go of Young. I think with the right pieces in place, he can help them get back to a high level, as long as he’s the third/fourth option. To lose him when they’re already going to end up with either Embiid, Wiggins or Parker seems like giving away a good player without a good enough reason.

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 former Kansas teammate, forward Andrew Wiggins).

Tags: Joel Embiid NBA Draft 2014 NBA Draft Rumors