Everything you need to know about Kansas center Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid. (Orlin Wagner/AP file photo)

The Sixers selected Kansas big man Joel Embiid with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft Thursday.

While taking a productive seven-footer seems like a no-brainer, the selection of Embiid comes with a noted risk: he’s recovering from surgery on a stress fracture in his foot. The recovery will keep him sidelined for reportedly 4-6 months.

If healthy, Embiid is touted as one of the top available prospects of the draft class and is unquestioned as the top center despite beginning a career in basketball in 2011.

During his only season at Kansas, Embiid averaged 11 points and eight rebounds per game. He led the Jayhawks with eight double-doubles. He also averaged 2.6 blocks per game. He set a school record for blocks in a season by a freshman with 72 and recorded at least one block in each of his last 22 games.

His stellar season earned him numerous individual awards, including Second Team AP All-American, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big 12 Second Team.

However, the Yaounde, Cameroon native missed the final six games of his career due to a stress fracture in his back.


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According to Tyler R. Tynes of the Daily News, Embiid has good athleticism and has an advanced skill set given his lack of experience.

With Embiid, you get a raw player that has all the instincts and ability to be the next great NBA center. He has solid post moves that need to be developed, a mid-range game and nice vision out of the post to combine with a great wingspan and athleticism.

If developed correctly, he’ll become an above average rim protector with great post moves and a player that becomes versatile on both ends of the floor. If he goes to the wrong team or isn’t coached or developed well, he’ll end up as a starting big man that’s just average and ends up as a role player near the end of his career.