Joel Embiid is one of the most lovable players in the NBA's 2014 rookie class. Much to the chagrin of the Philadelphia 76ers, he's also currently one of the most plump.
The injured rookie center is overweight. After weighing 250 pounds in his lone season at Kansas University, a source told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he's nearly 300 pounds right now. The 76ers haven't disclosed his actual weight.
More on the Sixers
More on the Sixers
When asked Monday about the report, Embiid insisted his maximum weight was 275 pounds. A team source also denied the report to CSN Philly.
Injured big men often gain weight because there are only so many exercises they can do, but there are still concerns within the organization about Embiid's work ethic. Embiid was sent home during the team's recent West Coast road trip after he and assistant strength and conditioning coach James Davis had an altercation. The 76ers are trying to address Embiid's added weight, but he hasn't always been a willing workout participant, skipping out on conditioning drills, according to Pompey.
This is the second consecutive season in which the 76ers have had a lottery pick sidelined with injury. Nerlens Noel sat out the 2013-14 season to recover from a torn ACL he suffered at the University of Kentucky. Now in his rookie season, Noel is averaging eight points and 7.2 rebounds in 30.2 minutes per game.
Embiid, the Cameroonian who was taken with the third pick in the 2014 draft, has been sidelined after having surgery on the broken navicular bone in his right foot in June of 2014. It's likely the injury will keep him out of practice until April or even May.
Because of league rules, Embiid can't speak with reporters until he participates in a full, five-on-five scrimmage.
The timeline for a premiere in scrimmages is even up in the air. It's likely that he will miss the entire season. Until then, Embiid, who averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds for Kansas, will be expected to get back in shape.