Joel Embiid will announce his plans to enter the NBA Draft during a press conference with Kansas coach Bill Self on Wednesday at 2 p.m central time, multiple sources told SNY.tv.
“He’s coming out,” one NBA source said. “Shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s a lock for the Top 5.”
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported March 27th that Embiid would enter the NBA Draft. The 7-foot Embiid then took to Twitter to say he hadn’t yet made up his mind.
DraftExpress.com has Embiid projected as the No. 2 pick behind fellow Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins, meaning Kansas could go 1-2 in the Draft just as Kentucky did in 2012 with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
A native of Cameroon, Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks this season en route to Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, but didn’t play after March 1 due to a back injury.
Assuming medical tests show his back is structurally fine, NBA personnel aren’t overly concerned about his health going forwrad.
“Every team’s doctors will determine just how bad his injury is long term,” one NBA scout said.
Self has said he always believed Embiid would eventually be a No. 1 overall pick — although he wasn’t certain it would be after his freshman season.
“I think that his ceiling is is as high as anybody I’ve been around,” Self told Seth Davis in February. “Really the only ceiling close to being as high as his is the other kid [Wiggins] in our program right now.
“He’s a sponge and he’s extremely bright. He has some things from a physical standpoint you can’t teach as far as his nimbleness so to speak, his feet, and his hands and so I think he’s got a chance to be special. He’s already on his way to being that.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.