Joel Embiid Injury Reaction, Sixers are Screwed(I think)

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Stomach punch.

That’s what it felt like to have read the news this morning that Embiid, the probable No.1 selection for Cleveland in next week’s draft has suffered a foot injury, seemingly dashing the hopes and dreams of Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins falling to No.3.

There’s just no way that Cleveland screws up this year by taking a definitely* injury prone center. I think they go with Jabari and play it safe.

*His back was the big worry, but now he’s got a foot injury and while the severity has yet to be determined although he definitely needs surgery. Two serious injuries in a four-month span? No thank you, he’s officially a major injury concern.

For the last several weeks, everything was going to plan. Embiid at one, Parker at two and Wiggins to the Sixers at three.

No, while it’s not impossible, it’s just highly unlikely. I really don’t want the Sixers to give up 3 and 10 to move up to the top slot for Wiggins, as much as I want him on the team next year. They need players, it’s a simple as that and in a deep draft such as this one, getting two good players instead of one elite talent is the opposite of terrible.

Of course, things could still break differently and Embiid’s foot injury might not be terribly serious. *Update: it’s a stress fracture and that is serious. Embiid isn’t even attending the draft and his status for next season is in question.

Even though Hinkie drafted Nerlens Noel and redshirted him last season, I can’t see him doing that with Embiid. As much upside as he may have, this foot injury is a game changer and he may never develop into the talent many expect. Plus, Noel was already rehabbing an ACL, an inury that has a more predictable recovery time. If the Sixers weren’t tanking so hard, he probably would’ve played some games last year.

For a draft that was already hugely anticipated, this latest curveball makes the buildup more fascinating or intolerable depending on how you look at it. (I’m leaning intolerable, I just need to get it over with).

I’m assuming Wiggins, and Parker are gone in the top two, leaving Noah Vonleh, and Dante Exum as the two primary targets at No.3. I’d go Vonleh over Exum but then again, Exum is such a wildcard.

There’s also the trade option and Hinkie has already proven that he likes trading. A lot. And in his one night of trading on Draft Night, he made out OK.

Could the Cavs pass on Wiggins and Parker to try to get 3 and 10 from the Sixers and then offer them in a package to Minnesota for Kevin Love? Even though their pursuit of LeBron is futile. they seemingly have to do anything it takes to become competitive again. It’s a long shot, at best now thanks to Embiid’s injury.

But enough already. While today’s news is disappointing, there’s no reason to react until the draft is over. One agonizingly long week from tonight.

 

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