Joel Embiid has been a hot topic in recent news for two interesting and varying reasons.
First, Embiid looks to be an absolute freak at the center position. He is a true seven footer that appears to be well ahead of the game on both ends for his age. Using his length and athleticism many fans and analysts have been quick to dub him “better than Howard”.
Then there is the other reason he is in the news: injuries.
After missing the entire NCAA tournament with a back injury from a fall many saw as pedestrian, Embiid only needed to stay healthy until the draft to maintain his draft stock. Unfortunately for Embiid news surfaced recently of a new foot injury that requires surgery and a long recovery. This injury is bad news for Embiid’s aspirations to go first in this years draft but it is extremely good news for the Boston Celtics.
Picking sixth in this years draft after once again losing in the lottery, the Celtics looked like they would be missing out on this drafts “Big 3″ (Embiid, Parker, and Wiggins). Although the latter two will still be off the board by the time the Celtics pick, with the latest news of another injury to Embiid, he might just fall to pick 6.
Don’t put it past the Celtics to pick Embiid if injuries drag him down the draft board.
The team recently drafted Jared Sullinger, formally considered a top 5 pick, late In the first round after he slipped in the draft because of back issues. Therefore in theory the Celtics would take a similar approach if Embiid fell to number six. But what If he doesn’t?
Rumors have also circulated in Boston about a possible trade up in the draft to guarantee a top talent. Although overshadowed by the recent affair with Kevin Love, a trade is definitely a possibility for Boston because of their quantity of picks in the future and solid young talent already on the roster. This news of a possible trade makes Embiid’s injury all the more interesting because now he doesn’t have to fall past the first five picks, in theory the Celtics could trade up and get him with say picks 3-5.
Trading up in the draft, especially this high in the draft, is bound to have a steep price but if the Celtics fail to get Love via trade, GM Danny Ainge is a fan of making big moves and no trade would surprise Celtics fans. Either way things are heating up headed towards the draft as the C’s attempt to mold their future.