Former Kansas Jayhawks’ center Joel Embiid once looked like the number one pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but after the news broke about his foot injury, Embiid almost certainly won’t got number one, which is going to impact the rest of the draft.
Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders explains how Embiid’s injury will shake up the draft.
This changes everything if he ultimately does have to get surgery and will miss Summer League and maybe part of the season. He’s not the #1 pick anymore, that’s for sure, as a guy who already had some injury concerns goes ahead and then gets injured a week before the draft? I’ve said all along I see no reason to draft someone with injury concerns at age 19 when there are TWO other franchise-altering talents ripe for the picking sitting right there. So Wiggins and Parker go 1-2 now, and Philadelphia has a decision to make at #3. They loved a healthy Embiid, but they also love the idea of pairing Dante Exum with MCW, and that’s who they may ultimately go with. Then Orlando has to decide what they’ll do. I don’t see Embiid slipping past Utah at #5, but definitely not past LA at #7. Either way, it’s a huge deal when the projected top overall pick has something like this happen. No one wants to repeat the Greg Oden nightmare, ya know?
Embiid is ranked second among all prospects by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express (behind former Kansas teammate, forward Andrew Wiggins). 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.