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Joel Embiid

  • Position: Center
  • Height/Weight: 7-0 / 250
  • Birthdate: 03/16/1994
  • College: Kansas
Round 1: Pick 3
Drafted By: Philadelphia 76ers 
Prospect Analysis

Update on 6/19/14: Embiid suffers right foot injury; will not attend Draft in New York

 

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Strengths

  • Length
  • Explosive athlete
  • Mobile
  • Inside-outside scoring potential
  • Great shot blocker
  • Good rebounder
  • Intelligent

 

Weaknesses

  • Inexperienced (has played only four years)
  • Will back issues persist?
  • Has to get bigger and stronger

 

NBA projection: Before his nagging back issues, Embiid was being projected as perhaps the No. 1 pick in the draft. He still could be, but there’s little chance he falls out of the top three.

 

2013-14 Season

Embiid was a second-team Associated Press All-American, a second-team All-Big 12 pick and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in his only season of college basketball.

 

Key statistics: 11.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.9 spg, 2.6 bpg, 2.4 tpg, 23.1 mpg, .626 FG, .200 3PT, .685 FT

 

Cool statistic: Embiid set Kansas freshman records in field-goal percentage, rebounding and blocked shots (72).

 

Reminds me of: Hakeem Olajuwon

 

What Insiders Say

Kansas coach Bill Self

“There's going to be an adjustment period because he's so young, but he's ridiculously bright, he's hungry, he's motivated, so he'll go through some natural growing pains that all young players go through. But in the end, he's got a chance to be standing on top. But it'll be an adjustment for him.”

 

What Outsiders Say

Georgetown coach John Thompson III

"He's pretty good, he's pretty good. You see, just having watched all their games, not only is he pretty good, but he must be pretty smart because he is getting better and better and better with each game. I think he has a chance to be a special player, there's no two ways about that. He might be at that point already."

 

David Aldridge's Big Board 2014: Centers | Rank: No. 1
TNT Analyst David Aldridge breaks down the top prospects at each position
They try not to gush about Embiid, but they can't help themselves. Within a few minutes of prodding, it's Niagara Falls.

 

Personnel types know when there's a diamond in the rough. And Embiid is it. He has come so far so fast that it's hard to gauge where his ceiling may be. At the worst, Embiid, the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year, projects to be a defensive stopper in the mold of a Dikembe Mutombo or Alonzo Mourning. And if his offense catches up with where he is defensively? People try not to say too much. But if he learned from Olajuwon, well, couldn't he be The Dream 2.0 -- or, at least, the next best thing we have? More >>

 

-- Profile by Chris Dortch, editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. Follow him @cdortch