While it wasn’t a given that Joel Embiid would be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the former Kansas big man slipping below the third selection was all but impossible just a few short days ago.
Of course, that was before Embiid suffered a foot injury which has significantly shaken up the draft. Not only is the center possible to see his draft stock drop significantly, but doing so will only raise the stock of others, putting a severe wrinkle into what many projected.
Some believe Embiid could completely fall out of the lottery itself, though that seems a little odd considering Nerlens Noel had a rather significant injury coming into the 2013 NBA Draft and only fell to the No. 6 pick after he was projected to go No. 1.
Could such a scenario happen this season as well, involving Embiid? It’s completely possible though the Boston Celtics, who own the No. 6 pick seem to be a little unsure of what to do if Embiid remains on the board come their selection.
Austin Ainge on what #Celtics will do if Joel Embiid is available at No 6: "Quite a gamble. I don’t know. We’ll see."
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) June 21, 2014
There’s no doubt that a healthy Joel Embiid could very well be a franchise big man (for the Boston Celtics or any other team), but given the foot injury and the lingering concerns from his two stress fractures in his back (one this past season, one during high school) you can’t help but be concerned about his status moving forward.
Regardless, if Embiid does slip to the No. 6 selection, ‘quite a gamble’ or not the Boston Celtics would certainly need to entertain the thought of pulling the trigger.