The Milwaukee Bucks are expected to finish at the bottom of the standings and near the top of the 2014 NBA draft order. Joel Embiid is a major prospect that Bucks will be considering. However, there are major concerns around health and growing concerns over how much of a sure thing Embiid really is.
The recent news that Embiid has suffered a back injury that will keep him out for weeks is alarming. As much as we love to marvel at the size of true 7-foot centers, their bodies often pay the price with some being prone to chronic injuries. Case in point look at Greg Oden, an NBA-ready defensive beast who was a sure thing, but never actually was due to his health.
Even now playing for Miami Heat, Oden is only a shell of the potential we were sold on in 2007. The flipside is nobody wants to miss the next Hakeem Olajuwon or David Robinson.
The Bucks can’t afford to miss this pick. With the clock to finance a new arena ticking down, messing up this draft choice could send the Bucks out of Milwaukee. With many good players in this year’s draft, the analysis of risk vs. value will be a key.
If Milwaukee is serious about drafting Embiid, then the medical staff will be just as important as the scouts. No one can predict fluke injuries during play, but if a player has a lingering issue (such as chronic back pain), that may be enough reason to step back and look at the other options available.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant