WEDNESDAY, 2:15pm: Embiid formally announced his decision to enter the draft in a press conference today, as the school’s Twitter account confirms.
TUESDAY, 8:57pm: Joel Embiid will declare for the 2014 NBA Draft, sources tell Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Embiid is expected to make his announcement at a press conference tomorrow at 2:00pm Central time. Embiid has publicly maintained that he is undecided on his plans all season, even refuting a recent report that had him headed for the draft. The latest news is more concrete, but we will know by tomorrow whether Embiid is prepared to officially announce his intentions.
We profiled the 7-footer in our Prospect Profile series, whose stock has risen throughout the year. It was unlikely before the season that Embiid could challenge either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins at the very top of the draft, but now that possibility isn’t out of the question. In a recent Hoops Rumors poll, our readers voted Embiid the third most likely prospect to be selected No. 1 overall this summer.
If he does declare, the most pressing concern for the big man will be proving the back injury that held him out of the NCAA tournament is not serious. Nerlens Noel was projected as the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, but fell to No. 6 after suffering a torn ACL. Former No. 1 overall selection Greg Oden‘s unfortunate, injury-plagued career path is also still on the minds of many front office executives when evaluating incoming centers.