With a press conference lined up for Wednesday afternoon, many were wondering if Joel Embiid would surprise everyone and return for one more season with the Kansas Jayhawks. However, the freshman center surprised no one and declared for the NBA draft in June.
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) April 9, 2014
As one of the top prospects in the upcoming draft, Embiid rose through the ranks and became one of the top-five draft options overall, even after his back injury.
Concerned with the injury to his back? Some NBA teams will be, but for the most part, that hasn’t affected his stock as he is likely to be a top-five pick regardless — some even have him going as high as No. 1 overall. He even missed a little over a month of the season with the injury and he didn’t get to come back for Kansas’ Sweet 16 games and beyond, well, because they didn’t make it that far.
Embiid averaged 11.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game in his first — and only — season with the Jayhawks as Bill Self had one of the best freshman classes in the nation. Andrew Wiggins, the superstar of the team, declared for the NBA about a week ago.
The 7-foot-0 center will experience success at the next level, but in my opinion, it won’t be right away.
Despite the back injury, that will be the least of his worries. Many are worried about his lack of size — width-wise — and he might need to bulk up a bit before taking on the next level.
Smart move, but Cliff Alexander won’t be too happy.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.