It speaks volumes of Joel Embiid‘s talent-level that he’s a possible number one pick in the 2014 NBA Draft despite missing the last six games of his lone season at Kansas and the pre-draft combine as a result of a lingering back injury. He seemingly put those health issues to rest at a mesmerizing workout last week, but has yet to allow individual teams to conduct physicals to confirm that belief. That will change soon, however, as reports say that Embiid has agreed to visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in the weeks leading up to the June 26 draft.
According to Andy Katz of ESPN, Embiid won’t meet with another team until the Cavaliers – who were awarded the top pick for the third time in four years – decide whether or not to select him.
The 7-foot Cameroon native has been projected as a likely top choice throughout the season. That’s why Embiid won’t visit with Milwaukee or Philadelphia, which have the next two picks, until Cleveland has a chance to review his case for No. 1.
As a surefire top-three pick, it makes sense for Embiid to grant fewer workouts than other prospects. Still, this development surely comes as a sigh of relief to the Cavaliers after reports recently surfaced that agent Arn Tellem could try and steer Embiid to a particular franchise by limiting access to the star center.
Also of note in Katz’s report is that the Wasserman Group – which represents Jabari Parker in addition to Embiid – will proceed as if its two prized prospects will be the draft’s first players selected. Embiid’s college teammate Andrew Wiggins is the other top player in this class.
Meanwhile, Embiid and Duke freshman Jabari Parker are represented by the same agency (Wasserman Group) and the source said the agency is planning visits based on Embiid and Parker going 1-2 in some order over Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins.
Cleveland is still considering all three for the No. 1 pick.
That means Parker would visit with No. 2 Milwaukee at some point, and if Cleveland wanted to pass on Embiid then it would open up a Parker interview with the Cavs for the No. 1 spot.
Though the Wasserman Group has a vested interest in ensuring its clients are drafted as high as possible, the firm’s confidence in that possibility is interesting nonetheless. Embiid, Parker, and Wiggins have sat atop the league’s collective draft board in some order for months; is this a sign the Cavaliers and Bucks – who hold the second overall pick – have begun to separate them from one another?
Regardless, Cleveland will be in for a treat at Embiid’s workout. Only a few players in the world possess the size and athleticism necessary to finish like this:
(GIF via SBNation)
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