Embiid’s Bandwagon Shouldn’t Be Getting Smaller

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Jan 5, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers injured center Joel Embiid (21) during warm ups before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Embiid’s impressive basketball IQ with his back to the basket is a main reason why he was considered one of the top prospects in 2014.

In this in particular play we saw Embiid hold off from finishing a tough alley-oop opportunity and instead deciding to turn his back towards the basket, bring out his inner Hakeem, and finish a beautiful sequence. Although some may question his off court maturity, he certainly seems matured when it comes to playing in the post.

Embiid also proved he is a consistent scorer from anywhere in the paint. Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland shows just how efficient Embiid can be on the inside with this basic shot chart.

Embiid has the intangible basketball IQ that will allow him to contribute on a NBA team, even if the surgeries do somewhat limit his athletic ability. Big men with high basketball IQ have been important to competitive teams, even with low athleticism. Tim Duncan, Zach Randolph, and Dirk Nowitzki all come to mind. All three of these big men have found themselves at the front of the pack of championship caliber teams. Now, obviously Dirk and Duncan are basketball greats and future hall of famers, but Embiid can, at worst, be a lesser version of them. He’s basketball smart, unselfish, and talented, skills that all three of those players possess.

Embiid’s tools give him the ability to become at least a contributing player. It would be useless, but cost saving in the most minimal way, to let Embiid contribute to another team’s run by not picking up his options the next two years. The injury risk is obviously high, but Embiid’s potential to be great absolutely masks that.

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