A most delightful WOJBOMB for everyone this morning, when the almighty reported Kansas center Joel Embiid will enter the NBA Draft this year. Jojo's been dealing with back issues that kept him out of the NCAA Tournament and directly led to KU's early exit against a mediocre Stanford squad that had no business hanging with them. From a well-off family Cameroon, there was speculation that Embiid would prefer to stay in school at least another year because he didn't think he was necessarily ready for the pros, but when the money comes calling, you pick up the phone.
Embiid is absolutely in that top 3 discussion, but I wonder how much his injury concerns will affect his draft stock. There was a time a few months ago when he surpassed Andrew Wiggins as consensus #1 pick (everywhere but my heart), but as Wiggins took off towards the end of the season and Joel struggled to stay healthy, that seems to have mostly fallen off. Nerlens Noel was, at one time, the consensus #1 pick as well -- injuries to big men are not taken lightly in any front office.
The talent is obviously there (rim protectors, premium, etc.) for him to be a stud on both ends of the court, but I would not be surprised in the least to see him fall out of the top 3 or even further. Nobody wants to come away from this draft -- THIS DRAFT! -- with a bust. Injuries or otherwise. Expectations are massive. We'll see. Not sure which teams would take Embiid over Wiggins, but should Philly not win the Lottery, I will be emailing Hakeem Olajuwon clips to the winning GM for a month straight.
And this doesn't pertain to the Sixers so much since the odds of them taking Syracuse point guards who can't shoot in back to back drafts are... slim... but Tyler Ennis will also go pro. He's got a ton of holes in his game, but man if he isn't extremely impressive on the court. I don't know that he's a first division starter, but he looks like he'll be a lottery pick and I'm hoping he has a good career ahead of him. Screw off, Boeheim.
Both guys aren't necessarily Sixers targets (the Embiid-Noel thing is a conversation for another day, MCW-Ennis), but their choices to declare for the draft mean the players we do want the Sixers to grab could slip a spot because of their inclusion. So thank you, Joel and Tyler. Jabari, you're up.