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Did The Philadelphia 76ers Waste A Draft Pick On Joel Embiid?

Did The Philadelphia 76ers Make A Mistake By Drafting Embiid?

NBA 2014 Offseason

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One of the most controversial decisions in the 2014 NBA draft was when the Philadelphia 76ers selected Joel Embiid with the third overall pick. Embiid is an extremely talented kid who is very injury prone, as he suffered a back injury at Kansas that knocked him out of the NCAA Tournament and a foot injury before the draft. When I think of Embiid’s recent hiccups, guys such as Yao Ming and Greg Oden come to mind. Freakishly tall athletes usually have a tougher time staying healthy.

However, for the sake of the pick, the 76ers handled it well.

Did The Philadelphia 76ers Waste A Draft Pick On Joel Embiid?

USA TODAY Sports

Besides Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, there weren’t many safe bets in this year’s draft. The rest of the guys had very little upside and are pretty much what you see. Keep in mind, Embiid was projected by many to be the first overall pick before the foot injury took place. Now, everybody is scared and backing out? Not me.

The 76ers landed arguably the best overall player in the draft with the third spot. If it works out, great. If not, well, you can’t blame the team for trying. After all, that’s what the draft is all about. No matter what NBA guru says what, nobody knows for sure who is going to pan out and who isn’t. Shoot, Manu Ginobili was a pick away from not even being drafted and Isaiah Thomas was the final pick of the 2011 draft.

Embiid has an elite skill set for a big man at 7’0”, and he gets to play in an era where big men are nearly nonexistent. He’s a terrific rim protector, he runs the floor well, his offensive game is still developing and he’s only 20 years old. Upside and potential are dripping from this kids lengthy frame.

From a skill set perspective, Embiid could be one of the best big men the game has ever seen. Worst case scenario, he can never get healthy and spends much of his short career on the bench and becoming a forgotten man to the NBA world.

Still, the best case is a chance you can’t pass up as a franchise that hasn’t won a championship since the 1982-83 season.

Pairing a healthy Embiid with a healthy Nerlens Noel, and last year’s Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams, has the potential to be a young version of a “Big Three.”

Why in the hell would you pass that up?

The draft is all about taking chances at the right price. Getting possibly the best player in the third spot is well worth the risk. It’ll either be a homerun or a strikeout. 

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