NBA Draft 2014 Player Profile: Joel Embiid
Randy Looks at the Top Prospects in the 2014 NBA Draft
NBA Draft: June 26, 2014
USA TODAY Sports
2013-14 Season: 11.2 PPG - 8.1 RPG - 1.4 APG
Notes: Embiid grew up playing volleyball and soccer, and really only has three years of organized basketball experience under his belt. He was one of 30 finalists for the Naismith College Player of the Year as a freshman.
Strengths: Everything you look for in a dominant big man, Embiid has in his skill set. Embiid has a massive seven-foot frame that he’ll continue to grow into, his athleticism and length is unmatched, and he runs the floor extremely well. Embiid has watched lots of tape of NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon, which has improved his footwork a great deal, making him a nightmare in the paint. Embiid is a natural rim protector, terrific shot blocker and has a nice touch on his mid-range jumper. Embiid is also just scratching the surface with his potential considering he’s still fairly new to the game of basketball. NBA scouts should be drooling over this kid.
Weaknesses: The main concern with Embiid is his back injury that forced him to miss the NCAA Tournament. Besides the stress fracture, Embiid could improve his physicality in the paint and be a little more aggressive on the glass. You’d like to see a man of his caliber simply dominate the game and control everything that goes on in the paint. Embiid is also still raw offensively, as his range and post up moves could improve. Of course, those are two things that will come with time.
Projection: Injuries or not, Embiid’s ceiling is so high that he may end up being the first overall pick in this year’s draft regardless. At worst, he’s a top five pick and an immediate starter on a lottery team depending on his health.