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Kansas' Joel Embiid declares for NBA Draft

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Embiid remains a potential No. 1 pick despite a back injury that forced him to miss the end of Kansas' season.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Update (3:18 p.m. ET): Joel Embiid officially declared for the 2014 NBA Draft at a Wednesday press conference with Kansas coach Bill Self. Per the Topeka Capital-Journal:

"Looking at different scenarios and gathering info of what was best for me ... either way was best for me," Embiid said. "Talking to my mentor, it was best the choice."


Kansas Jayhawks freshman center Joel Embiid will declare for the 2014 NBA Draft at a 3 p.m. ET press conference on Wednesday, according to Adam Zagoria of

Embiid is a potential No. 1 pick and was expected to declare for the draft, but the 7-footer deniedreport in late March from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski that he had already made his decision. There had also been previous reports about Embiid possibly staying in school.

Embiid, a 20-year-old out of Cameroon, started playing basketball when he was 16. Despite his lack of experience playing organized basketball, the big man immediately came into his own at Kansas. He averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game en route to winning the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Award.

There are some questions about Embiid's long-term health, as he didn't play a game after March 1 due to a back injury. However, the injury isn't expected to affect the 20-year-old's draft stock too much. DraftExpress currently has Embiid going No. 2 overall, behind fellow Jayhawk Andrew Wiggins, and SB Nation's Tyler Lashbrook put the freshman at No. 3 on his latest big board.