The NBA Draft may look very different this coming Thursday night after it was revealed yesterday that potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid must get foot surgery on a stress-fracture in his right foot.
Cleveland was expected to pick Embiid after he impressed at his workout just a few days ago. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that the Cavaliers will go with Embiid as their fan base may explode if he is picked and can’t stay on the floor for more than 30 games. Look for Cleveland to go with Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker on June 26th instead of the athletic center.
Now the rest of the draft will unfold quite differently that expected, at least if Embiid isn’t taken by the Milwaukee Bucks second of the Philadelphia 76ers third. Assuming he gets that far, the question then begs, what are the chances that Embiid makes it to Boston at number six?
Well, they probably aren’t great considering that both the Bucks and Sixers have a long ways to go before they contend so to wait a year on Embiid isn’t the end of the world. In addition, the Magic aren’t exactly brimming with young, athletic big men, but may want to go a separate route if they are afraid of his injury history.
Now I am not saying that the Celtics should draft Embiid if he is there because of his Brook Lopez-like body issues. But think about it for a minute how his presence can make a huge impact for this Boston team. First off, it would make the decision easier than the array of athletic wings like Aaron Gordon and Noah Vonleh who Boston may be looking to pick there, plus it gives the C’s trade flexibility, especially with say a team like Minnesota who could potentially like Embiid more than other options.
All we know is that he is no longer going number one in this year’s draft, and come draft night, we could have a Gerald Green-type scenario where Embiid keeps falling and may be there when Boston picks on Thursday evening.