With just moments to go before the final stretch of the 2014 NBA Draft process, we have the equivalent of a 15-car pileup. ESPN's Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman is reporting that potential No. 1 pick candidate Joel Embiid has suffered a foot injury, putting his draft status in doubt.
UPDATE: STRESS FRACTURE.
Per Goodman's article:
[Embiid's mentor] Luc Mbah a Moute, who is overseas, was not certain as to the extent of the injury. It also is unclear as to which foot was injured.
"I just heard he got hurt," Mbah a Moute said.
"He may have broken it," one source told ESPN.
The details sounded sketchy at best. Treat them with the proper amount of scrutiny (a lot) this time of year. Odds are you can trust Mbah a Moute, the man responsible for Embiid coming to the States, but a random source guessing on his medical status seems a bit preposterous.
But where there's smoke, there's often fire, and fellow Bristol-ite Chad Ford followed up his colleague's report with a few truth bombs of his own:
Just spoke with Embiid's agent Arn Tellem. "I can confirm the Joel suffered an injury to his right foot. ..— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 19, 2014
More from Tellem on Embiid. "He is being evaluated by various medical experts and we should know the extent of his injury by tomorrow."— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 19, 2014
Tellem wouldn't speculate on the seriousness of the injury but said it was unlikely he would be doing any more workouts before the draft.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 19, 2014
This is an enormous -- seven feet! -- monkey wrench at the top of the draft. It has been assumed by many that the big man from Kansas was the surefire No. 1 selection for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but with another possible health concern on the docket, this could have a domino effect on the rest of the draft. Goodman followed up his report by announcing that he will officially move Embiid from the top spot in his mock draft, and since mock drafts are serious business, you can be sure this is a real concern.
It's a nightmare for the 76ers in particular; if Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are off the board after the top two selections, is Sam Hinkie willing to roll the dice on an Embiid-Noel pairing in the frontcourt? Similarly, is MCW-Dante Exum workable, or are we looking at the worst case scenario on Draft day?
There's just a week left before the big night, so you're going to be seeing crazy reports from 100 different angles until the dust clears. Adrian Wojnarowski -- basketball's most trusted source -- has already slightly dismissed the report, and whether that's a result of having better intel or working for a rival company is unknown.
Regardless, the Sixers still have a smart team running the organization and two top 10 selections in a very good draft. Even if this shakes things up, they are still sitting pretty. Relax and breathe.