By Daniel Schmelzer @D_Schmelzer on April 9, 2014
On Wednesday afternoon, Joel Embiid announced his intention to leave early and enter the 2014 NBA Draft. The 20-year-old 7-footer out of Cameroon averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game in his only season with Kansas. Embiid has obvious defensive skill, and flashes incredible potential offensively. His upside will make him an easy top-3 pick.
Here are five realistic destinations that would be the best fits for Embiid.
At 14-63, the Milwaukee Bucks have the worst record in the NBA. There is a strong chance that they will be able to select Embiid if they wish. With guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brandon Knight and Larry Sanders, the Bucks have already have some nice upside on their roster. Embiid would be the obvious centerpiece to build the rest of the franchise around.
At 17-60, the Philadelphia 76ers are not much better than Milwaukee. The 76ers are obviously rebuilding this team around PG Michael Carter-Williams and injured big man Nerlens Noel. If they land Embiid at the top of the draft, him and Noel would instantly become the best defensive big man duo in the league, and along with Carter-Williams, would give the 76ers a nice, young core to build around.
The Sacramento Kings actually have a nice roster on paper, but they simply have not put it all together, as their 27-51 record shows. With no obvious player holding down the center position, Embiid could be the guy right away for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins would help take the pressure off of Embiid on the offensive end of the court early on, while Embiid could do what he does best, dominate defensively.
With a current record of 25-53, the Los Angeles Lakers are in unfamiliar territory, as they will likely have a very high pick in the upcoming draft. Embiid would instantly help with their horrific defense, and the return of Kobe Bryant would mean that he would not have to do too much offensively. The Lakers have had an incredible amount of talent at the center position over the years. Can Embiid be the next in line?
With tons of draft pick ammo, the Boston Celtics are in prime position to continue their rebuild this offseason. They have a chance to have a top-3 pick, making Embiid a possibility. PG Rajon Rondo's elite playmaking skills would allow Embiid to get easy buckets in his rookie year. I think Rondo could accelerate Embiid's offensive game, and both players would be elite defenders at their positions, giving the Celtics something to build around.
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