5:02pm: Sources tell Chad Ford of ESPN.com that there’s a decent chance that Embiid misses four to six months, as Ford writes in his Insider-only mock draft. That would put him in jeopardy of missing the start of the regular season.
2:12pm: Top draft prospect Joel Embiid has suffered a broken navicular bone in his right foot and will undergo surgery on Friday, agent Arn Tellem informs Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). The news confirms earlier fears that grew when the Cavs reportedly discovered the injury during their workout with the former University of Kansas center. Embiid appeared to have the inside track to be selected by Cleveland, which holds the first overall pick, so the broken bone throws the top of the draft into flux just a week before the event.
The injury would seem to make Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins the prime candidates for the No. 1 pick, though the Cavs apparently would like to audition Dante Exum, who’d been the darkhorse candidate to become one of the top three selections. The Sixers have reportedly been targeting Wiggins, having spoken with the Cavs about trading for the top pick, and their chances of landing Embiid’s Kansas teammate without a trade have taken a hit in light of today’s news.
Embiid also missed the end of his lone season with the Jayhawks with a back injury, though fears about that had been dissipating. Still, two worrisome injuries in the past several months threaten to severely dampen his draft stock. Nerlens Noel was seemingly the top prospect in last year’s draft, even though he had a torn ACL, but he slipped to the sixth pick and has yet to play a game in the NBA.