Following the news this past week that one of the top prospects in this year’s NBA Draft class, center Joel Embiid, will miss up to six months following surgery he underwent on Friday to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, there’s a lot of uncertainty now surrounding where the former Kansas star could be drafted.
Since the news of the injury, and subsequent recovery timetable, there are reportedly a few teams in the top 10 that have ruled out drafting him altogether, but the Boston Celtics at no. 6 may not be one of them.
According to NBA.com, especially given the chances they’ve taken on other players in the past that had health issues, Danny Ainge taking a chance on him at that six spot isn’t completely out of the question, even if they don’t know for certain that he can play at all this upcoming season.
One thing is for certain when it comes to the Celtics and Embiid: the team will not select him or pass on him based on his availability for next season. Boston will instead put a heavy emphasis on Embiid’s long-term prognosis.
They’re going to do their homework, definitely, and while Embiid won’t be a top-three pick as once considered, he might not be waiting around for much longer after that point.
Boston will do its best to acquire as much information as possible about Embiid’s foot and back as we lead up to the Draft. In the end, that information will likely decide whether or not the Celtics select the highly-touted big man with the sixth overall selection if he’s still available at that point.
Drafting Embiid is definitely a crap shoot, no one would really argue that. Not only does he have this new foot injury to deal with, but there is also the lingering back issues that hindered his college postseason this past March.
But, if Ainge, head coach Brad Stevens and the rest of the brass see enough potential there with him down the road, be it this season or next, then all the talk of Embiid slipping out of the top 1o would just look silly.