This year’s NBA draft class took a big with the news that Joel Embiid suffered an injury yet to be identified to his foot. There’s a chance he may have a broken foot, after recovering from a spinal stress fracture that forced Embiid to miss the NCAA tournament. During Embiid’s lone season at Kansas, he struggled with injuries to his knee and back, the two most serious parts of the body an athlete can injure. Embiid was the likely top overall pick, but that could change once the severity of his injury is revealed.
Since this draft class is considered loaded by just about every NBA scout, teams at the very top of the draft board can still make out with very good players, but Embiid was the most tantalizing prospect. He may be one of the best center prospects to enter the draft in decade, but with these barrage of injuries, he may be no different than Oden. Embiid is as graceful of a 7 footer as you’ll ever find, but he seems to be just as fragile as the lumbering Oden. Teams at the top the draft (LOOKING AT YOU, CAVALIERS) may look to trade their pick if they planned on drafting Embiid. This draft is supposed to be among the best ever, but each of the top prospects has a fatal flaw that could doom his potential. Embiid is injury-prone. Jabari doesn’t play defense. And Wiggins isn’t a basketball player. Embiid may slip, but it’s unlikely he’d slip past the top 5 like Nerlens Noel did last season. Embiid is a more complete, polished prospect than Noel. But one has to think that Embiid’s future employer may wish to do with him what the Sixers did with Noel. In fact, would it really be that surprising if the Sixers drafted Embiid and then had him sit for a year? The Sixers would then get to tank another year and load up their roster with yet another top prospect. Maybe then, the NBA would begin to seriously address the issue of tanking.