2014 NBA Draft: 5 Reasons Why Joel Embiid Will Be No. 1 Pick

2014 NBA Draft: 5 Reasons Why Joel Embiid Will Be the Top Pick

Joel Embiid celebrate
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sport

Like Jadeveon Clowney and teams in the NFL, any team in the NBA who passes on Joel Embiid in 2014 draft is delusional and will regret their decision.
He is one of the few players in this draft who is polished enough to come in from the start. Sure this is one of the more talented drafts in recent memory, but most of the prospects are high-ceiling players or good at a lot of things. Here's why he should be the top pick.

5. Character

Jayhawks celebrate
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

5. Character

Jayhawks celebrate
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With Embiid teams will not have the discipline problems that most high-profile athletes incur. He is a hard worker with a blue-collar mentality— he brings his lunch with him. Embiid goes after every shot and usually gets them. Effort is not a problem for him.

4. Shot Blocking

Embiid block
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

4. Shot Blocking

Embiid block
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There aren’t a lot of elite shot blockers in the NBA. Outside of Serge Ibaka and Dwight Howard, most people couldn’t name the other top-5 blockers in the NBA. Wherever he lands, Embiid will most likely be the leading shot blocker on his team.

3. Size

Embiid hookshot
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

3. Size

Embiid hookshot
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

There are very few highly touted big men in this year’s draft, and there are even less who are 7-feet tall. Defensive centers with height are at a premium in the NBA, because they are the kryptonite to LeBron’s Miami Heat. Even if a 7-foot player doesn’t contribute much on offense, it’s his length that will make him valuable.

2. Athleticism

Embiid post-up
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

2. Athleticism

Embiid post-up
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

He started as a volleyball and soccer player before Embiid picked up a basketball. For a center, he is fluid in his movements and has good court awareness. He may not be as polished offensively as Anthony Davis, but Embiid is just as athletic. He has a lot of range on the baseline defending the rim.

1. Potential

Embiid shooting
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

1. Potential

Embiid shooting
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

No other player in this draft has more upside than Embiid. He can be as good as Bill Russell or Tim Duncan. There is also the possibility he could be Sam Bouie or Greg Oden. Regardless, all of these players performed well when they were actually on the court. Embiid can do things at 7-feet that most of his peers can’t.

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