By Joseph Crevier @JosephMCrevier on March 31, 2014
Many NBA teams were alarmed the moment they heard that top prospect Joel Embiid was unsure if he would enter the NBA Draft this year. Recruiters have been drooling at the idea of an athletic 7-footer who has the potential to be a franchise player. Fortunately for these teams, Embiid has since made the right call by declaring for the draft.
Whether college athletes should be paid or not, is a totally different discussion. However, when athletes have the opportunity to enter their respective drafts, the financial aspects are extremely tempting. Who can blame them, as sports take up all of their time in college, leaving no time for a side job. Therefore, Embiid is smart to take the NBA money when he is just about guaranteed a few million dollars.
In a draft full of talent, to be considered a high lottery pick is a huge compliment. At this point, Embiid is basically guaranteed to be a top-7 pick, and has even has potential to be the first overall pick. As we have learned from Marcus Smart, staying an extra year when you already have secured a high lottery pick, can heavily influence your draft stock.
Joel Embiid was forced to sit out of both of Kansas' games in the 2014 NCAA Tournament due to a stress fracture in his back. Now, doctors are saying Embiid will have no future problems with the back, but if he were to experience additional back problems next season, teams would likely shy away from drafting him. Entering this season is the best decision he could have made in terms of his injury status.
Andrew Wiggins made it known that he would be a one-and-done sort of person when committing to the University of Kansas. The duo of Embiid and Wiggins has been exciting to watch all season long, but since Wiggins is gone there's no reason for Embiid to stick around. He should allow the incoming recruiting class take his spot as he ventures into the NBA.
It's been an unusual year as both the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have experienced dismal seasons, resulting in both teams possessing a top 7-pick. To have two of the best franchises in NBA history in position to possibly draft Joel Embiid, declaring for the draft is an excellent decision solely for this opportunity. If drafted by either team, Embiid will receive an excessive amount of minutes, allowing him to fully develop his game.
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