NBA general manager: ‘You can’t use a top-five pick’ on injured Joel Embiid

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Joel Embiid’s draft stock is dropping rapidly due to his injured foot.

Just how far will he fall?

An anonymous NBA general manager, via Sean Deveney of Sporting News:

“I think there is a point at which you use a pick on him, where you’re hoping maybe these are just fluke things that are not going to be recurring,” one general manager told Sporting News. “But that point is not in the Top 5 or so. You can’t use a Top 5 pick. I think there are too many other good options there to think about using the pick on one who has these injury problems.”

Just speculating… Deveney is based in Boston, and the Celtics have the No. 6 pick. Might the anonymous GM be Danny Ainge trying to get Embiid to fall so he can draft him?

In reality, it doesn’t matter what one general manager – or even a consensus of general managers would do. It matters only what David Griffin (Cavaliers), John Hammond (Bucks), Sam Hinkie (76ers), Rob Hennigan (Magic) and Dennis Lindsey (Jazz) would do.

It’s easy to now justify taking Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker ahead of Embiid. They’d be quality No. 1 picks in an average draft.

But Dante Exum, Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon or Julius Randle over Embiid? That’s a much harder trigger to pull.

Yet, drafting an injured Embiid won’t be easy, either.

I’d guess Embiid will go between No. 3 and No. 5, but so much remains up in the air – no matter what the agenda is of an anonymous general manager.

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