Joel Embiid is reportedly leaving Kansas for the NBA after one season. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Is Joel Embiid ready for the NBA? We're about to find out.
Kansas' star freshman center will enter his name in the 2014 NBA draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports!.
The 7-footer is widely viewed a potential No. 1 overall pick and currently ranks No. 3 on Chris Mannix's latest Big Board. He's ranked No. 2 in DraftExpress.com's latest mock draft.
A 20-year-old center with a soft touch, shot-blocking prowess and ability to dominate at both ends, Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 23 minutes per game for Kansas this season. But his only season as a Jayhawk was cut short by a stress fracture in his back, which sidelined him for Kansas' final two regular-season games and all of its postseason play.
"His offensive skill set seems to grow by the game," said Mannix about Embiid in his most recent Big Board. "He can score with a hook with either hand. Defensively, he is an imposing presence. The brief February blip aside, it's scary how quickly Embiid is developing.
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According to Yahoo, a formal announcement from Embiid is expected soon and the one-and-done center will also pick an agent. Wojnarowski that Embiid's back injury will be evaluated heavily leading up to the draft:
There's a strong expectation Embiid will make a full recovery, but NBA teams will closely examine the long-term fitness of the injury.
Embiid becomes the latest notable underclassmen to join the 2014 NBA draft class. Indiana's Noah Vonleh
and North Carolina State's T.J. Warren
are also leaving school early for the pros.