Kansas v Texas

Bucks scouting director sees no issue with Joel Embiid’s back, Cavaliers to get their own look


Bill Simmons thinks Joel Embiid’s back is fine. A couple anonymous scouts think Embiid’s back is fine. Embiid says his back is fine.

But Simmons doesn’t hold a top pick in the draft. The scouts don’t necessarily hold a top pick in the draft. And Embiid doesn’t hold a top pick in the draft.

So, their opinions matter only so much.

Billy McKinney’s carries a little more weight. He’s the director of scouting for the Bucks, who have the No. 2 pick.

Andrew Gruman of FOX Sports Wisconsin:

You know what’s cooler than going No. 2? Going No. 1.

That’s why Embiid will grant Cleveland a physical.

Andy Katz of ESPN:

The Cavaliers will visit with former Kansas center Joel Embiid sometime in the coming weeks and conduct a physical, a source told ESPN.

Embiid won’t visit another team until the Cavaliers are given a chance to determine if they will select Embiid with the top pick in the NBA draft on June 26.

Embiid looking good in physical is an important step given how his freshman year at Kansas ended. He needed to overcome his injury in the short term.

More importantly: How much more likely is Embiid to suffer another back injury than other players? That’s the question teams considering drafting him must answer. They don’t want him for the present as much as the future.

More in-depth medical tests, like Cleveland is conducting, will help answer. But it’s still an inexact science, and Embiid’s back should continue to be a topic of discussion for the Cavaliers, Bucks, 76ers, Magic or any other team near the top of the draft – no matter how good Embiid looks in workouts.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.