Joel Embiid sustained a broken bone in his right foot, throwing his status for the 2014 NBA Draft into doubt. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid Injury Shakes Up Top Of NBA Draft


Kansas center Joel Embiid has cancelled his scheduled workout with the Milwaukee Bucks scheduled for this week and a reported broken right foot for the 7-footer from Cameroon threatens to shake up the top of the entire 2014 NBA Draft.

As recently as Tuesday, it was being reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers were ready to commit to Embiid with the No. 1 overall pick, leaving the Bucks to presumably choose between the other two top prospects—Duke forward Jabari Parker or Kansas swingman Andrew Wiggins.

But Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and will have surgery to repair the injury on Friday.

That throws the top of the draft into flux just a week before teams gather at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for the annual selection gala.

For my money, I liked Parker for the Bucks. A lot of people have knocked his perceived lack of “upside” because scouts say he’s a more NBA-ready product than Embiid or Wiggins.

But the Bucks won 15 games last year. They could use some NBA-ready talent, because they suffered from a significant dearth of it in 2013-14.

Milwaukee already has a prospect with freakish amounts of upside in last year’s first-round pick, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

But if Embiid is ruled out by Cleveland, reports say they are leaning toward taking either Parker or possibly Australian guard Dante Exum.

I never say Embiid as a fit for the Bucks, if for no other reason than the amount of money Milwaukee has already sunk into the center position by committing to Larry Sanders for an extension that doesn’t kick in until 2014-15.

After the season Sanders had—both on and off the court—in 2013-14, it’s hard to imagine a team being willing to take on $44 million and four years. Stranger things have happened … just not many.

So the next week promises to be interesting as the Cavaliers decide which domino will start the chain next Thursday night in prime time.

Tags: 2014 NBA Draft Joel Embiid Milwaukee Bucks Popular