If one player was going to break out of this draft and be a true foundational player, most teams thought it would be Joel Embiid.
Until news of his broken foot came out.
One surgery and two screws in the navicular bone later, his stock has fallen some. The Cavaliers are not going to take him with the top spot, their GM David said Wednesday it’s a two horse race between Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. The Bucks owner has said they are not taking Embiid at two.
But that’s about it — the potential of Embiid is so high teams are willing to take on the risk that he is never fully healthy. Embiid could go to the Sixers at No. 3 or one of the next several slots, and teams are trying to trade up to get him, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.
Several teams, including the Sacramento Kings at No. 8, have called teams ahead of them in the lottery to propose potential trades to move up and select Embiid, a league source with knowledge of the conversations told CBSSports.com….
After news of the injury — and the subsequent surgery and 4-6 month recovery timetable — teams holding picks behind Milwaukee have been forced to re-evaluate their draft strategy and risk tolerance. The Sixers (No. 3), Magic (No. 4), Jazz (No. 5), Celtics (No. 6) and Lakers (No. 7) are all considered potential landing spots for Embiid. An Eastern Conference executive said Wednesday that Embiid, despite the medical red flags, would not get past the Kings at No. 8 — and probably wouldn’t fall that far.
It takes elite players to really win in the NBA. A team drafting in the later lottery could get a solid rotation player. Nothing wrong with that. But a few GMs would be willing to roll the dice on a potentially great player, even if it costs them a little in a trade.
It comes down to how highly the team had Embiid rated and the cost of moving up (or trading for him after he’s picked). But don’t be surprised if this happens.
Or the Sixers just take him at three, they’d sit a guy out for a year again.