Joel Embiid, in light of his foot injury, will likely no longer go No. 1 in the draft.
How far will he slip?
Once Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker go off the board – probably with the first two picks – Embiid might still be the best prospect available. The rebuilding 76ers could easily draft Embiid at No. 3 and give him plenty of time to recover while losing a lot of games next season in pursuit of another high lottery pick.
But if Embiid’s agent, Arn Tellem, gets his way, Embiid would fall further.
Bill Simmons of Grantland:
Tellem can try to steer Embiid past the Bucks (No. 2), 76ers (No. 3), Magic (No. 4) and Jazz (No. 5), but those teams can obviously take Embiid without the player’s consent.
Unless he’s willing play overseas in perpetuity or not play professionally anywhere for a year – sitting out injured while getting paid counts as “playing” for these purposes – Embiid has no leverage other than to threaten to do those things.
Unlike Marcus Smart, Embiid can’t skip workouts to dissuade teams. He’s too hurt to work out anywhere.
But Embiid has a major trump card – his medical reports. He doesn’t need to share that information with anyone, and it would be extremely risky to draft him without reviewing those records.
Tellem knows how much falling would cost Embiid, but the agent also realize the potential second-contract benefits of playing for a team that can better develop Embiid.
Maybe Embiid can get the best of both worlds.
Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
a source tells CSNNE.com that the Celtics will give some serious thought to potentially moving up in the draft to select him.
If the Celtics get Embiid’s medical records and then try to trade up for him, that would signal to any potential trade partner that Embiid checks out. Maybe that team – whether it’s the Bucks, 76ers, Magic or Jazz – doesn’t trust Boston, or maybe it uses that implicit knowledge sharing to justify drafting Embiid itself.
At this point, it’s a game of cat and mouse.