Joel Embiid is very quickly and seriously, becoming top competition for possibly the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. I’ve fell in love with him and honestly, I like him more than Julius Randle right now. The only prospect I might like more than Embiid is Jabari Parker.
Joel Embiid is still very raw, but the talent is so obvious. You know who he reminds me of? Andre Drummond. Drummond was passed upon in the 2012 NBA Draft, because of his “motor” or lack thereof, and the fact that he didn’t have the best season at UConn. Well, prospects aren’t usually drafted because of one season at college and I bet a lot of NBA teams are wishing they didn’t let Drummond slip to #9 to the Detroit Pistons. Right now, Drummond looks like one of the best centers in the league, something Joel Embiid can easily be in a few seasons in the NBA. So, why Embiid?
First of all, this kid is a physical FREAK. He stands at a legitimate 7-0 tall, with a wingspan that reaches out to 7-5. He’s not one of those new generation skinny centers (think Ant Davis and Nerlens Noel), but at 240 lbs, Embiid has the weight to take some blows in the paint.
In 20.7 minutes per game with the Kansas Jayhawks this season, Embiid is putting up 10.5 PPG, 6.6 APG and 2.3 BPG. He’s only taking 5.5 shots per game and with a shade under 21 minutes a game, Embiid’s numbers are very impressive. Before the season, all the talk in Kansas was about Andrew Wiggins and how he was the best prospect since LeBron James. Well, now a lot of that attention has shifted over to Embiid and people aren’t even sure if Wiggins is a lock for No. 1.
Embiid’s per-40 minute stats look like this: 18.5 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 2.1 SPG and 4.5 BPG. Yes, almost five blocks per game per-40. These stats just show the kind of game changer that Embiid can be, given the minutes.
Embiid is a raw prospect, but at 7-0 tall with a 7-5 wingspan, he can come in immediately and be an elite rim protector at the NBA level.
Plus, anyone that has watched Embiid this season has seen his great ability to pass in the post. Many times, Embiid has found a cutting Wiggins or Selden as the double team comes to Embiid and leaves Wiggins/Selden or whoever with an easy bucket at the rim. Embiid will be a player that commands a double-team in the post every possession, making him have an impact on any game without having to score. Just his presence is enough to disrupt a teams defense.
Look at what Kansas coach, Bill Self said when he saw Embiid play for the first time (via Jason King):
“Are you frickin’ kidding me? This dude could be the No. 1 pick in the draft. He can run. He’s got good feet. He’s got touch. He’s unbelievable. He’ll be the best big man we’ve ever coached if we can get him. Forget all the other guys we’ve been after. That’s the guy we’ve got to get. We’ve got to get Joel.”
Plus, look at what Embiid said in an interview earlier this season (via Jason King):
“I’m not even thinking about the NBA right now,” Embiid said. “People have been saying that I’m playing good, but I don’t think so. I’m not even close to being good yet. I’m not even close to being where I want to be.”
In limited minutes, Embiid has already shown how great he can be and has NBA GM’s drooling everywhere. Personally, I’m in love with this kid. Like I mentioned earlier, he reminds em of Andre Drummond and we’ve all seen how great that project has worked out.
So, we must ask. Will Embiid fit on the Sixers?
I want to scream this, OF COURSE HE WILL. Joel Embiid might be the best “prospect” in this draft. He might not look that way in his first season or two in the NBA, but it will show. In Philadelphia, Embiid could slide right next to Nerlens Noel and form a scary athletic front court for the future. Nerlens Noel can play the four, while Embiid plays the five. Having two legitimate rim protectors is a scary thought. The Sixers picked a great time to tank, because the talent in this draft is undeniable. If Embiid is there, as long as Parker is gone, the Sixers have to take him. Just like in 2010 when the Sixers missed on Greg Monroe and DeMarcus Cousins for Evan Turner, the Sixers can’t make that mistake again. The Sixers have to take Joel Embiid if he’s on the board when they pick.
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Tags: 76ers Andre Drummond Andrew Wiggins Bill Self Demarcus Cousins Evan Turner Greg Monroe Jabari Parker Joel Embiid Julius Randle Kansas Kansas Jayhawks LeBron James Nerlens Noel Philadelphia 76ers Sixers