By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Philadelphia 76ers used their third overall pick on Joel Embiid in the 2014 NBA Draft. The former Kanas Jayhawks big man was considered the top player in the draft, before last week when he had surgery.
As he worked out with teams, doctors found a broken navicular bone in his right foot. This caused many teams to fear his selection because this injury has caused the end of so many players’ careers.
“It is different. Disappointed, I wish I could be there,” Embiid said in an interview during ESPN’s draft broadcast. “But I’m excited the Sixers took me. I still can’t believe it. I started playing basketball so late, it just means that anything is possible.”
READ MORE: Click here for our latest NBA coverage
Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 28 games at Kansas. Embiid is a 7-footer and is expected to be the 76ers’ future center.
He could be teamed with Nerlens Noel, who sat out this past season after tearing his ACL before the 2013 NBA Draft.
Even with the injury, many considered Embiid to be the top draft prospect. That’s because of his skill set which is also considered a generational talent.
He has good post moves and a mid-range jump shot. He is a rim protector that is considered to be comparable to Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon.
Embiid has had some health problems during his four years of playing organized basketball. One of those issues is a balky back.
“For my back injury, it hurt me,” he said. “But I saw the doctors and they said I was going to be fine. And unfortunately, this foot injury happened a week before the draft. But I believe in God and God knew what he was doing, I’ve always said that and I’m going to just keep praising him.”
His foot surgery took take up to six months to heal. This surgery has caused many big men to have their careers ended, while others took more than a season to fully heal.
READ MORE: Click here for our latest Sports coverage
As we reported last Friday, the Sixers at that time were not interested in drafting Embiid. But this may have been a smoke screen as they did not want other teams to know what their plans were.
However, when things appeared like the 76ers could not draft Andrew Wiggins with the third pick, or even trade up to get him, they turned to Embiid.
Subscribe to our newsletter!