Is the 2014 NBA draft order headed for a shake-up at the top? Joel Embiid, a strong candidate to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick, has suffered a right foot injury. ESPN.com and Yahoo Sports both report that Embiid, who missed time during his freshman season at Kansas due to a back injury, sustained the injury this week. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix has confirmed the injury and reports that the extent of Embiid's injury will be determined after an evaluation Friday. The 7-foot Embiid has been regarded as one of the three most likely players to go No. 1 overall along with Kansas guard/forward Andrew Wiggins and Duke forward Jabari Parker. Embiid, a native of Cameroon, worked out for the Cavaliers, who hold the No. 1 pick, last week. In a mock draft released earlier this week, Mannix pegged Embiid to Cleveland at No. 1.
A source familiar with the Cavaliers thinking says the Cavaliers are leaning strongly toward Embiid, who has impressed in private workouts. Embiid's back has not been an issue, but league sources say teams are still evaluating it to determine the long-term risk. Still, Embiid's potential as a dominant two-way player appears to be too good for the Cavs to pass up.
Last year, projected No. 1 overall pick Nerlens Noel slipped to No. 6 overall after suffering a season-ending knee injury during his freshman year at Kentucky. Noel wound up sitting out his entire rookie season for the Sixers. Embiid, 20, averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 23.1 minutes for the Jayhawks this season. He was shut down in early March due to a stress fracture in his lower back, and he did not play in the Big 12 or NCAA tournaments.