Embiid’s college basketball season ended with a stress fracture in his lower back, and as he worked out for the top teams in the draft to quell concerns over that injury, a workout with the Cavaliers determined he would require surgery to repair a navicular bone stress fracture in his foot. He will miss at least four to six months following the foot injury, but could also be held out the entire season.
The Cameroonian has only played basketball for four years, but he emerged as a star at Kansas, averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds on 62.6 percent shooting in 23 minutes per game. But he slid in the draft thanks to major concerns about his health. He last played on March 1 against Oklahoma State and missed out on the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.
Embiid is a physical specimen, standing 7’ tall with a 7’5 wingspan and weighing 265 pounds. He moves his feet extremely well for a man of that size and dominated the defensive end thanks to his frame. But he’s still very new to the game; he fouls and turns the ball over at a high rate.
Still, he’s a long-limbed center with all of the tools of a dominant big man. Had he not suffered a stress fracture, he likely would have gone No. 1 overall.
But the Sixers can afford to be patient. The big question is how Embiid fits alongside last year’s No. 6 overall pick, Nerlens Noel. Embiid is more refined from 10-15 feet, but Noel is quicker and better at sticking with hybrid, perimeter-oriented power forwards.
With last season’s Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, Noel, Embiid and the 10th pick in the draft coming later, the Sixers are ready to make strides on the court.