DRAFT14: To Embiid or Not to Embiid?

Posted by: Philadunkia
06/20/14 9:36 am EST

Joel-EmbiidWith yesterday’s breaking news, that is the question.

As you know by now, Joel Embiid, the projected 1st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft has a foot fracture and will have surgery today to repair the injury.  Thursday’s headlines sent every team with a Lottery pick this year scrambling to reconstruct their Draft plans and asking, “Is Embiid worth taking a gamble on with a Top 12 pick?”

Embiid’s injury presents a very interesting dilemma for Sam Hinkie the 76ers, who as we all know have two Lottery selections next Thursday night (No. 3 & No. 10) and thus will likely have two opportunities to draft or pass on the athletic, but injury prone, 7-foot center from Kansas.

So we put two questions to the scribes here at Philadunkia…

If he is available, would you draft Embiid at No. 3?…and…If he is available, would you draft Embiid at No. 10?

Answers and ideas after the jump.


1) If you were Sam Hinkie and Joel Embiid is available when the 76ers are on the clock at No. 3, would you select the injured center? 

Michael Kaskey Blomain:  No.  I would not go near Joel Embiid with the third overall pick in the Draft.  I was skeptical about his selection prior to the foot injury, and now he just presents too big of a risk for the rebuilding Sixers.  They cannot afford to miss on their top-5 pick, and big guys with injury issues are just too risky, especially when talking about back and foot injuries.  With Noel and a developing Henry Sims, the Sixers don’t need Embiid, especially considering the shift to small-ball and stretch forwards that the league is experiencing.

Also, not that this would necessarily play into Sam Hinkie’s selection, but it would be asking quite a lot of the fanbase to accept yet another injured big man who may have to sit a season.  On the heels of the Bynum debacle, and then Noel’s season on the sideline, selecting another big with injury issues who will have to sit on the sideline will be really pressing the patience of the fanbase.

C. Smith:  Bill Walton.  Sam Bowie.  Yao Ming.  Greg Oden.  Andrew Bynum.  These are just a few of the highly talented big men in the history of the NBA who’s careers did not reach their maximum potential or were derailed all together because of frequent injuries.  At No. 3, the 76ers absolutely must land a player who can contribute to the rebuilding process next year and be a building block for years to come. Thus, there is no way that common sense even in the world of advanced analytics — that Hinkie can take a gamble on a 7-footer with foot and back problems who was described to me by one NBA front office person as appearing “brittle”.

Additionally (And I know Hinkie does not care about this at all.), I agree with my colleague MKB, after Bynum and Noel, asking Philadunkia nation to watch the No. 3 pick in the 2014 Draft sit on the bench in a Boyd’s suit for a large portion of the 2014-15 season is simply cruel.

Rich Iacuzio:  If Joel Embiid slides to the third pick in the Draft, I think Hinkie will have a hard decision to make.  Ultimately, I think Sam Hinkie will pass on Embiid.  Joel surely has franchise-altering capabilities, but he seems too risky to draft, especially now with all of his accumulating injuries.  Another reason why I think Hinkie will pass on him is due to his own experiences in Houston.  While in Houston, Sam Hinkie saw Yao Ming’s career end with the same injury that hinders Embiid today.  Knowing this, I think Hinkie will stay away from Embiid.  Now, call me an optimist, but I there still is a chance that Wiggins makes it to our pick.  Bill Simmons believes Parker will be taken by the Cavaliers because he will contribute right from day one.  Chad Ford has also mentioned that the Bucks think very highly of Dante Exum, and have had him in front of Wiggins on their draft board.  So, with a combination of Hinkie’s past experiences and the pending availability of Andrew Wiggins, I believe the 76ers will pass on Embiid.

Tyler Cook:  If Embiid is still an option at No. 3 I think the Sixers should pass on the big man.  The Sixers already have a first round big man in Nerlens Noel who was drafted sixth in the 2014 Draft.  With Noel expecting a promising return the Sixers should focus on an offensive weapon instead of another injury prone center.  Assuming that Andrew Wiggins would move to the 1st pick and Jabari Parker would follow as the 2nd pick, Hinkie will still have plenty of options at No. 3.

The first pick for the Sixers should be Julius Randle out of Kentucky.  Randle sports an enormous frame standing at 6’10” and weighing 250 lbs.  Simply put he is a punishing freight train. Randle has great footwork for a man of his size allowing him to drive and create shots.  His creativity makes him a huge threat at the mid or low post where he has multiple advanced moves such as a quick jab step or crossover.  He has proven to be a durable and reliable offensive threat at Kentucky where he averaged fifteen points a game last season.  As well as being a scoring machine, Randle average ten rebounds a game last year for Kentucky proving he is a dual threat.


1) If you were Sam Hinkie and Joel Embiid SOMEHOW is still available when the 76ers are on the clock at No. 10, would you grab the injured center? 

Michael Kaskey Blomain:  If Embiid somehow slides to the 76ers 10th pick, I think they will take a chance on him.  If you saw last year’s draft, you know that Hinkie likes to gamble.  Embiid would certainly be worth the 10th pick in the draft.  If healthy, Embiid could play alongside of Nerlens Noel.  The combination of both of these players could become our version of Duncan and Robinson. Of course there is a risk in selecting Embiid, but at the 10th pick in the draft, the reward would certainly outweigh the doubt.

C. Smith: If Embiid slips all the way to No. 10, Hinkie could be looking at the toughest decision he will face as the GM of Philadunkia’s home team.  At. No. 10 I believe the Sixers desperately need to land a shooting guard with 3-point draining skills who can finally give the 7-6 a scoring threat at that position we haven’t seen since Hersey Hawkins.  However, I understand that down the road, a hopefully healthy Embiid could potentially be a franchise changing caliber player for the Sixers or any team. Thus, if I am Hinkie I would be willing to take a gamble on him at No. 10 under one condition.  That condition would be that I was able to put together a package of 2nd round picks  (and maybe Thad, but hopefully not) that allowed the Sixers to “get back into the 1st round” by acquiring a third selection.  With that additional 1st round pick, I could then secure a much need shooting guard.  So under those guidelines, I would take Embiid at No. 10.  Otherwise, I pass — AGAIN.    

Rich Iacuzio:  If Embiid somehow slides to the 76ers 10th pick, I think they will take a chance on him.  If you saw last year’s draft, you know that Hinkie likes to gamble.  Embiid would certainly be worth the 10th pick in the draft.  If healthy, Embiid could play alongside of Nerlens Noel.  The combination of both of these players could become our version of Duncan and Robinson.  Of course there is a risk in selecting Embiid, but at the 10th pick in the draft, the reward would certainly outweigh the risk.

Tyler Cook:  When looking at Embiid two words have to pop up in your mind, “injury prone”.  The Kansas 7-footer has only been playing basketball for a short amount of time and has already been plagued with injuries that can often be devastating for a big man. In his short basketball career Embiid has suffered through a knee injury, a severe back injury that forced him to sit out of the NCAA tournament last year with Kansas, and now the foot fracture that some doctors are saying could take a while to heal because the navicular bone is amongst the slowest healing bones in the body. As I stated previously, the Sixers have a promising prospect at the center position in Noel.  

Instead I think the Sixers should use the No. 10 pick and draft a solid wingman with a scoring mindset like UCLA’s Zach LaVine. LaVine has tremendous athleticism, which allowed him to make a career at UCLA in the open floor.  LaVine is also an excellent shooter.  The 6’6” guard has the ability to shoot of the dribble, come off a screen, or even drain the long ball.  Last year at UCLA LaVine hit 43% of his three point attempts, showcasing his smooth shot with an absurd amount of confidence.  LaVine can throw it down or shoot the lights out, which is why the Sixers should take him at No. 10 if he is available.


C. Smith is the Editor of Philadunkia. You can follow us @philadunkia.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @therealmikeKB.

Rich Iacuzio is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twiiter @richiacuzio.

Tyler Cook is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @TylerCook93 



11 Responses to “DRAFT14: To Embiid or Not to Embiid?”

  1. Chris H.
    20. June 2014 at 09:46

    Well Steve Toll, if you’re out there, your wish to draft Embiid may come true! Is Hinkie an idiot for drafting him now? Or will he be an idiot for not drafting him? Just curious.

  2. Matt
    20. June 2014 at 09:54

    I’m not even considering Embiid for a second at 3.

    Even if he were healthy, the Sixers already have a lanky, young center, who will be able to rebound and play defense but is raw on offense and needs to add muscle.

    If Wiggins/Parker is available, take him. If not, trade down or take Exum, hoping he can fit in as a 2-guard. (The other option being trading up).

    At 10, I’d consider it, but he’s not dropping that far.

    Especially if they get Wiggins or Parker at 3, I really like James Young at 10.

    MCW, Young, Wiggins/Parker, Thad and Noel is a solid lineup with a ton of potential. Then you have guys like Sims and Hollis Thompson coming off the bench. Add a max contract-type free agent in the next couple years and you have something.

  3. Philadunkia
    20. June 2014 at 13:49


    You had me until you mentioned Hollis Thompson.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    — C. Smith

  4. Steve toll
    20. June 2014 at 14:31

    I saw this in the AM and tried to write out a big long response trashing everyone. Unfortunately, my eyes were bleeding too heavily and I had to seek medical assistance.
    Embiid is the obvious pick, AINEC.

    As much as it pains me to write about the 76ers, I feel it’s my duty to now write about this past year and the upcoming draft because nobody else seems to have a firm grasp on reality

  5. johnny w
    20. June 2014 at 18:11

    Yeah…sure muddies the water but I guess you gotta take JOEL EMBID. We are talking a stress fracture here not the end of the world? Dang ever MICHAEL JORDAN was down for a longtime with stress fracture. Blake Griffin came back strong from a ACL injury…even the mighty TIM DUNCAN was down for a year with a serious injury and the San Antonio Spurs were certainly patient with TIMMY! lol

    I have this feeling whom ever we wind up getting with our 3rd pick it destiny anyhow. We are going to get a STAR player regardless so welcome to the team and get busy. No one player can do it alone anyhow, more importantly it will be the totality of picks that matters, then we can start passing judgement. jw

  6. Alex
    22. June 2014 at 13:42

    Absolutely no Ebmiid at 3. This is big risk with no obvious rewards. I am sure Hinkle will offer Thad and 3 to Milwaukee (cavs would take Parker at 1) for Wiggins.
    As far as Embiid, he may be still available at 10 assuming that there may not be an stupid GM there to take this immense risk at 4 to 9 picks. Sam Hinkie will have to think very hard if that is the case. But if Gordon or LeVine are available at 10 along with Embiid, I will definitely pass on Embiid.
    Here is another thought. If Sixers hang on to Thad, then they can offer him along with 32 pick, next year 1st, and somebody like Anderson, Sims or Wroten to Utah, Boston or LA for their pick (5 to 7) which can be Ebmiid.

  7. Berdj J. Rassam
    22. June 2014 at 17:43

    I wouldn’t draft him either – too many other talented players that are in better health.

  8. Ray
    23. June 2014 at 15:57

    I think you pass on Embiid in this situation. Centers don’t win you championships in this league anymore, unless they are all time greats, see Hakeem, Shaq, Duncan (yes, I am counting him as a Center). I’m not willing to bet on Embiid being an all timer. I think you take whoever is left of Wiggins, Vonleah or Randle at 3. If everything breaks right you take Wiggins, and you have Noel and Thad at the 5 at 4 spots. If you take Vonleah or Randle you slide Thad to the 3. With the 10th pick you have to take a shooter. Levine, Stauskaus, Gary Harris or James Young.

    Ideal starting 5 next year would be MCW, Levine, Wiggins, Thad, Noel.

    I Levine needs the most time to develop of the SG prospects but he has the biggest upside and the team is not in a rush to win now.

  9. johnny w
    23. June 2014 at 18:26

    Yeah this really stinks just when things were looking good. We are not the only franchise faced with a tough decision on Joel Embiid, you can bet Milwaukee and Cleveland had their hearts set on him too and I wouldn’t be shocked if they still took him. Anyways we are not hearing about the more serious back problem anymore? So I assume they took a MRI so we are only dealing with a stress fracture.

    The Hinkiemonster will have to wheel and deal if WIGGINS is his guy cause he’s probably not going to fall to three spot anymore.

    To the article do you select EMBIID at three? Just like in BYNUM, WEBBER you gotta swing for the fences boys. Eventually the odds are with us. Coordinated big men are rare! Just look how pitiful OKC looked without Serge Ibaka in the line-up during the playoffs. lol The Hinkiemonster has already stated he’s very interested in drafting him. We can always trade him at a later date, he’ll garnish more than SMART or EXUUM.

    That’s why they make the big bucks, anyways it will be the accumulation of picks that determines our future.

    Speaking of 2nd rounders…for all you Isiah Austin fans sadly he has a career ending ailment of some sort?

    At least everybody will be talking about the SIXERS come Thursday night cause we will be ruling this draft! jw

  10. Fu
    24. June 2014 at 02:21

    I believe Sam H will do exactly what nobody expects. Hence the consensus here of not drafting Embid at 3 leads me to anticipate Embid will actually end up in Philly if still available at 3. Also I should mention that although the panel’s arguments on not drafting him at 3 make sense to some extent, you all loose a tremendous amount of credibility when supporting not even drafting him at 10. Let’s be serious guys!

  11. johnny W
    25. June 2014 at 02:40

    Up to recently the Hinkiemonster likes to operate in some secrecy, much like the New England Patriots,that’s why I was sort of baffled when all the fuss was made bout Wiggins? Apparently we are not the only ones who are making reasonable offers to Cleveland for the FIRST. The Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz also presenting respectable deals.

    Here’s what we do know…at this 2014 NBA Draft the mighty Philadelphia Seventy Sixers have positioned themselves with the most picks and far and away the most cap space than any other team.

    Bring it on! jw

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