Joel Embiid’s draft stock is falling. The question is how far.
Reports of an injury in his foot turned out to take a serious turn and will require surgery, as first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Joel Embiid has suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and will have surgery Friday, agent Arn Tellem said.
“Joel will be unable to participate in any additional workouts and will not attend the draft in New York,” Tellem said.
The fracture is in the navicular bone, which is on top of the foot above the arch. This is the same surgery New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had, it is also the injury Yao Ming, Bill Walton and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had during their careers. That should scare teams.
The surgery will put screws into the bone to secure it. After the surgery Embiid will not be able to put any pressure on the foot for about six weeks, then weight can be added but recovery takes at least four and up to six months.
You can bet whoever drafts him will be thinking long term and be cautious here. Don’t expect to see Embiid on the court until around Christmas at the earliest. Missing much longer is not out of the question, his team may keep him out the entire first season (as the Clippers did with Blake Griffin and the Sixers did last year with Nerlens Noel).
That is not helping the draft stock of a guy that might have gone No. 1 before this all went down.
It is expected the Cavaliers will take either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker with the No. 1 overall pick, the Bucks likely to take the other at No. 2. The Sixers already have Nerlens Noel, might they draft Dante Exum at three (to pair in the backcourt with Michael Carter-Williams) leaving Embiid to drop to the Magic at No. 4 or the Jazz with the No. 5 pick. Either the Celtics (sixth) or Lakers (seventh) would be thrilled to see Embiid fall that far (remember the Lakers drafted Andrew Bynum with knee questions at No. 10 years back).
This injury throws the entire top end of the draft up into the air, as well as raises questions about Embiid’s ceiling and ability to stay healthy. Remember he missed the end of the season with a stress fracture in his lower back. Big men with back and foot injuries give teams pause.
Potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid suffers stress fracture