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‘Legitimate Chance’ Joel Embiid Misses 2015/16

There’s a legitimate chance that Joel Embiid won’t play at all during the 2015/16 season, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who hears from sources who paint a cloudy picture of the center’s future. One of Pompey’s sources was doubtful that Embiid will play at the beginning of the season, while Pompey heard from an NBA executive who isn’t surprised by Embiid’s latest setback, citing a refusal on the part of the Cavs and Bucks to even consider him with the first two picks last year. A recent CT scan revealed less healing than anticipated for Embiid, whom the Sixers drafted third overall last year.

Embiid has yet to so much as take part in five-on-five drills after having surgery last June to repair a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot, Pompey notes. Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News cautions that his lack of five-on-five play is because there aren’t enough Sixers teammates sticking around Philly this summer, as Embiid is, for a 10-man scrimmage. In any case, Embiid was expected to recover within eight months, which would have had him healthy in February, as Pompey points out, but the Sixers took a cautious approach and held him out the entire season. The 21-year-old from Cameroon had looked sharp, like the candidate to become the No. 1 overall pick he had been before the surgery, in recent workouts, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported, but his latest health update has clearly brought about serious concerns.

Philadelphia’s rebuilding plan is “in trouble” if Embiid can’t stay healthy, an Eastern Conference executive opined to Pompey. A source nonetheless told Pompey that Embiid’s setback wouldn’t change the team’s draft plan this year, since the Sixers, again picking third overall, intend to use it on the best available talent anyway. Tom Moore of Calkins Media isn’t so sure that it won’t affect the team’s approach to some degree and lays out a few hypotheticals for the draft. Moore speculates that the team’s apparent enthusiasm for bringing over draft-and-stash prospect Dario Saric immediately stems from worry about Embiid in light of his latest exam.

Embiid is set for a guaranteed salary of nearly $4.627MM in 2015/16. Philadelphia has until October 31st to decide on a team option for his more than $4.826MM salary for 2016/17.

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4 thoughts on “‘Legitimate Chance’ Joel Embiid Misses 2015/16

  1. Z....

    I hope this eventually works out. It really sucks to see injuries keep guys like this from showing us what they’re capable of. It should be interesting to see what Philly does. They still need a PG, and they could use some help on the wing as well. The Embiid issue could possibly be salvaged (at least in the immediate) by bringing over Saric, and using Noel at the 5, so it isnt necessary to panic

    • Chuck Myron

      Yeah, I would be in the “don’t panic” camp, too. The Sixers are unlikely to compete for much this season, and until there’s definitive word he’s missing the season for sure, I don’t think the Sixers are knocked too far off course here.

  2. gophergold

    Still the right move to take Embiid no matter what happens. Franchise centers are about the rarest commodity in the NBA.

    • timeisillmatic

      Yeah I agree. All Philly can do is continue to draft as planned. If they are lucky, they can get a diamond in the rough type of player in the 2nd round.

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