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Joel Embiid's Cavs physical probably didn't have red flags

There were some whispers that Embiid's Cavs workout didn't go well, but most reports were glowing.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid worked out for the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, and some alarm bells went off when Tony Rizzo of ESPN Cleveland reported the workout didn't go well. Embiid missed the end of his freshman season at Kansas due to a back injury, and Rizzo said enough red flags popped up during his Cavs physical that the team won't select him No. 1 overall.

However, ESPN's Chad Ford has a report that paints a completely different picture. In Ford's latest mock draft, he has the Cavs selecting Embiid No. 1, stating that the workout was a major success. In fact, Ford's sources told him the team was "blown away" by Embiid's workout.

Ford's report is more in line with what was said after Embiid wowed at a workout in California that also featured Jabari Parker and Marcus Smart. Furthermore, Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer also reported that Embiid's workout was a success, and that his back didn't warrant any red flags.

Why this makes sense

It would make some sense if Embiid's workout did have some red flags. Back issues are no joke, especially for a big man, and he also dealt with problems in high school to go along with the injury suffered at Kansas.

It wouldn't make much sense for the Cavs to leak that the workout was bad if it really wasn't, because that could diminish the value of the top pick. Although as Ford says, perhaps Cleveland is thinking about swapping picks with the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 3 and it'd hope to get Embiid there.

Why this doesn't make sense

With so many glowing reports out there about Embiid's Cavs workout, it's hard to believe his physical had serious red flags. There are sure to be some concerns about how the back will hold up over the long haul, but that's different than the physical showing major problems.


Based on the information at hand, it seems rather unlikely that Embiid has serious red flags that will keep the Cavs from taking him No. 1. There are still no guarantees that Cleveland takes Embiid first, but right now, it's pointing in that direction.