Mailbag: What does Embiid injury mean for 76ers' draft plans?

So if you haven’t heard, this kind of happened today:

So here’s the deal: At this point, teams will be playing with fire if they try to draft Embiid in the top five of next week’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. Let’s answer some of the big questions our readers (and our twitter feeds) have brought up since the news has come out.

How far does Embiid slip?


If Wiggins and Parker go 1-2, who should the Sixers draft third?

Honestly, this is something that should have been a red flag with Embiid from the very beginning for NBA franchises. 

The questionable “back injury” that was kept under wraps going into March Madness and Embiid’s workouts have been an interesting tidbit that teams seem to have avoided since the beginning of May.

Now with another injury in four months of barely any competition, how far can Embiid fall? Well, Nerlens Noel did enough in 24 games with Kentucky to still be picked in the lottery of last year’s draft. Broken foot or not, it’s hard to believe top-ranked talent like Embiid will fall through the cracks. But, there’s no way he doesn’t fall to the 3-6 range next Thursday.

If he is available at the No. 3 pick, do the Sixers take Embiid?

Absolutely. They have to take Embiid.

If you’re the Sixers, you take a quality prospect that has the upside and some of the ability to change the face of a franchise, and of course, you take him because he’s a seven-footer. But more importantly, you take Embiid because, and likely possible, you can move him to Cleveland if they don't take Parker or Wiggins with the first overall selection.

Why wouldn’t they? Because they’re the Cleveland Cavaliers, that’s why. But in all seriousness, their franchise is rumored to be thinking about picking up Dante Exum, so if they do, even though they shouldn’t, you trade Embiid and whatever else it takes to the Cavs. Also keep in mind, if they take Wiggins or Parker first, the Sixers have enough assets, money and draft picks to give to Cleveland.

The ordeal becomes enticing.

Should the Sixers trade down from No. 3?

Interesting question, Internet. It shouldn’t be off the table, let’s say that. The Utah Jazz want to get into the top three of this year’s draft to try and nab Jabari Parker and understandably so, but if the Sixers still want a chance to grab Noah Vonleh, there’s no reason they can’t consider moving down.

It’s not the perfect scenario, but whatever is in the world of NBA drafts?

Who’s the clear No. 1 pick now that Embiid could possibly be hurt?

I think the top three general managers will be picking out of a hat come next Thursday. No seriously, they all get one hat and close their eyes and pick. If they don’t like what they got, they’ll just switch.

Okay, we don’t really know. It could be Jabari Parker and then he could be traded to the Sixers or the Jazz. It could be Wiggins and he could get moved or kept because the Cavs might not be able to be bribed with Tastykakes or whatever people in Cleveland eat. Or the most sensible thing ever: we just don’t know.

This seems like a decision that will be made in the hours coming up to draft night. No one thought the Cavs would get Anthony Bennett last year, we have to just wait and see. But if I was Cleveland, I would take Parker and shut my cell phone off for 24 hours.

From @SeanWats: “But if Wiggins & Parker go 1-2, who do the Sixers pick at #3?

Hey Sean, what’s up man?

If I’m Sam Hinkie (oh what a great day that would be) I go with Vonleh at the No. 3 spot or I take Embiid with the preconceived idea of moving him to another roster for either proven pieces, role players, or more draft picks because who wouldn’t want more draft picks?

This will be a situation that depends on what Cleveland wants. I’m pretty sure the Sixers have enough of everything to swing them Embiid if they actually still want him, because they desperately need a frontcourt piece. But at this moment, it’s really unclear and anyone who tells you differently is a liar.

How important do the five second round picks become now?

They are the most important things in your life if you are a Sixers fan. Hinkie is a guy that salivates over second rounders, if you think otherwise, count how many picks the team has for that round. No really, count them.

Second round selections in this draft were important even before the injury, in trade value and player value. Hinkie was on the staff that found Chandler Parsons in the second round a few years ago when he was in Houston. My guess is something like that could be replicated when you have five chances to do it.

There is plenty of quality in the second round: Nick Johnson from Arizona, C.J. Wilcox from Washington, Cleanthony Early from Wichita State, Joe Harris from Virginia, and the list goes on and on. Take a deep breathe, get away from the ledge, Sam Hinkie is still Sam Hinkie and the draft is in seven days. It’ll all be okay with time.

From @KhandymanSports: If they take Exum, what do they do with Irving/Waiters? Is Waiters almost guaranteed to be traded in that scenario, right?

Sooooooo, I’m not Cavs expert, but the assumption would be that he would be moved if the Cavaliers take Exum. Why they would take him except for trade bait I would have no idea, but if they do and chose to move him, I would think Waiters would be a bargaining piece.

The Cavs only have two picks (No. 1 and No. 33) so what they do at the No. 1 will really decide how the draft pans out in my opinion. Trading with the Sixers for more second rounders sounds like a good idea, but only if the Cavs get someone other than Exum.

I don’t see how or why the Sixers would want him, if not to pawn him off to another team for a ridiculously never-ending process of “Who wants Exum next?” The Cavs hold the keys to the draft, and that’s the most frightening part about it.

Follow Tynes on Twitter at: @TylerRickyTynes

Get the full Sixerville experience at