When a number one draft prospect like Joel Embiid sustains an injury prior to the draft, there are going to be questions. The severity of Embiid’s injury is yet to be determined, but any type of injury is enough to make teams reevaluate drafting him. He was expected to go first overall to the Cleveland, but his foot injury may change their minds. If Embiid were to fall, how far would he drop? If teams become skeptical about his health then who they draft could be completely different. We saw this happen with Jared Sullinger a few years ago. Sullinger was expected to be the first overall pick before sustaining an injury the season before he entered the draft. Of course we should also take note of Greg Oden. The first overall pick who ended up having his career ruined by injuries. Front offices have been keeping this in mind with regards to Embiid, but now it is at the forefront of the conversation. ESPN reports:
Joel Embiid, considered the front-runner to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, has suffered a right foot injury, his agent and his mentor both confirmed to ESPN.com on Thursday.
“He suffered a foot injury to his right foot sometime over the last few days,” agent Arn Tellem told ESPN’s Andy Katz by phone Thursday. “He’s getting evaluations from various doctors and experts in the field. We’ll know more Friday.”
One source told ESPN.com that Embiid “may have broken” his foot, but Tellem wouldn’t speculate on the seriousness of the injury until he had heard from doctors. Tellem also said it was unlikely Embiid would be doing any more workouts before the draft, which is June 26.
How does this affect the Grizzlies draft? Well it really comes down to how far, if at all, Embiid falls. This could change who is available at the 22nd pick, and some teams may want to trade up or down pending who’s on the board. If this happens, the Grizzlies may try to trade up and grab a player like Rodney Hood.
The draft is on June 26th and Embiid will more than likely not workout before then.