There is no doubt the injury to former Kansas Jayhawks’ center Joel Embiid has shaken up the 2014 NBA Draft.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold the top-overall selection, were set to pick between Embiid, his former Kansas teammate, swingman Andrew Wiggins, and former Duke Blue Devils’ forward Jabari Parker.
According to Chad Ford and Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Cavaliers’ general manager David Griffin had decided on selecting Embiid before the surgery.
If the Cavs keep the pick, they also may have to factor in who would be most likely to lure James.
Cleveland general manager David Griffin had decided to choose 7-footer Joel Embiid with the No. 1 pick, sources told ESPN.com. However, that changed when it was discovered that Embiid needed surgery on his foot that could sideline him for much of — if not his entire — rookie season.
The combination of Embiid’s injury concerns — a stress fracture in his lower back that sidelined him for the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments as well as the stress fracture in his right foot — have him out of the equation for the top pick in Thursday’s draft.
Now if the Cavaliers keep the pick, they will decide between Wiggins, who had a great workout for the Cavaliers and Parker, who reportedly had a very poor workout.
Embiid was 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.