By Kurt Helin
Maybe this will be nothing severe, for his sake let’s hope it is not. Let’s hope whatever this is heals quickly and he goes on to a long and very productive NBA career.
However Joel Embiid has suffered a foot injury during the process of working out for teams in the run-up to the NBA Draft, something that could impact his draft position. Embiid has been considered a possible (or even likely in some circles) No. 1 pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers but they are now considering their other options (Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Dante Exum) and Embiid could slide down the draft board. How far depends on the severity and type of injury.
We don’t know the details but Embiid’s agent confirmed the injury to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
“He suffered a foot injury to his right foot, sometime over the last few days,” agent Arn Tellem told ESPN’s Andy Katz by phone Thursday. “He’s getting evaluations from various doctors and experts in the field. We’ll know more Friday.”
“He may have broken it,” one source told ESPN.
It also may not be that severe, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo sports.
Embiid's undergoing tests, but he'd been running in recent days without issue, sources tell Yahoo. Also, no injury occurred in Cavs workout.
Big men with foot problems will scare teams, although you have to think he wouldn’t fall past four or five in the draft still. There is too much potential
Embiid, is 7’0” and is incredibly athletic and mobile for someone his size. He instantly will be a good rim protecting big who can defend, his offensive game is all about potential — he is very raw but he made big leaps on post moves in one year at Kansas. In a league without dominant big men he has the potential to be one.
However, there were questions about his back — he suffered a stress fracture there at the end of the season in Kansas that kept him out of the final games and NCAA Tournament — and now a foot injury. These are two areas that can be lingering, chronic areas for big men. Something that is going to give teams drafting him pause.
The top of the NBA Draft just got a lot more interesting. It’s hard not to see Andrew Wiggins going No. 1 anymore, but these are the Cavaliers so who knows.