Freshman, 20 years old
7’0″, 250 lbs.
2013-14 Stats: 23.1 MPG, 11.2 PPG (62.6% FG, 68.5% FT, 65.5% TSP), 8.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, .9 SPG, 1.8 BPG, 2.4 TPG
Measurements: 7’5″ wingspan. Did not participate in the NBA Combine measurements.
Cumulative Ranking: 2th | Bryant’s Ranking: 2th | Scott’s Ranking: 2th
Joel Embiid: THE BREAKDOWN
Bryant: It’s depressing to realize how high Embiid was just a week ago, and the main concern about him was only on his back. Now he has back problems AND foot surgery, and his stock is apparently tumbling because of it. I still don’t believe he’ll fall into Sacramento’s range, but if he did, the temptations of his talent might outweigh the health risks. With his shotblocking ability, excellent athleticism, great rebounding and solid offense of potential, he’d be a great fit next to DeMarcus Cousins.
Scott: I feel like I’m in the minority of Kings fans who wouldn’t take Embiid if he fell to Sacramento at No. 8. I was already cautious with his back and knee injuries, but this foot thing scares me too much. There’s no doubting the talent, and I understand swinging for the fences, especially in this case. However, in a draft this deep, it’s hard for me to turn away other appealing talent for a guy who might never be a consistent presence in the lineup due to injury. Let me ask: Do you take Embiid if Aaron Gordon is on the board? Marcus Smart?
Bryant: If this was the Kings team of last year, I probably would take him over Gordon or Smart. As it stands, with a team desperate to start winning, I’d hesitate… and probably take Embiid anyway. Even if there’s only a 50% chance he returns to full health (and then factoring in how raw he truly is), it still would be in my mind a risk worth taking. You won’t find many players in the NBA who would be as great a fit with Cousins – only Anthony Davis and Serge Ibaka come to mind. His blocking rate was stellar (11.6% rate), his rebounding was great (27.3% defensive rebounding rate, highest in the class) and he hit enough jumpshots (36% of his 2-point jumpers) to show balanced offensive potential. Even with a foot/back injury that killed the careers of Yao Ming and Bill Walton, that’d be really hard to pass up.
Scott: His skill set is tantalizing, and I don’t want to totally disregard the idea. If you’re staring at Joel Embiid, Elfrid Payton or Doug McDermott, then I’d have an easier time digesting it. But when it comes down to it, it’s just a problem I don’t want to have. I have a hard time believing he comes back from this injury and just plays healthy ball for the duration of his career; it has the chance to be a continual problem. Only the doctors know the full story, and if the Kings medical staff thinks he’s worth the risk, I’ll get on board. But my preference is someone who can contribute from Day 1.
A Royal Pain – Sacramento Kings Cumulative Big Board
15. Nik Stauskas – Shooting Guard, Michigan
14. Jusuf Nurkic – Center, Bosnia
13. Adreian Payne – Power Forward, Michigan State
12. Gary Harris – Guard, Michigan State
11. Doug McDermott – Forward, Creighton
10. Dario Saric – Forward, Croatia
9. James Young – Guard/Forward, Kentucky
8. Noah Vonleh – Forward, Indiana
7. Marcus Smart – Guard, Oklahoma State
6. Aaron Gordon – Power Forward, Arizona
5. Julius Randle – Power Forward, Kentucky
4. Dante Exum – Point Guard, Australia
3. Jabari Parker – Forward, Duke
2. Joel Embiid – Center, Kansas