Joel Embiid had a workout in front of scouts and team executives on Friday and apparently looked pretty good. Of course, it was a 1 vs. 0 workout but it's still good that people had a chance to see him moving around and showing off his skill set on the basketball court after missing the end of the Kansas Jayhawks' season with a back injury.
NBA guy on watching Joel Embiid at workout: "Looks healthy, quick and explosive."— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 23, 2014
The reports were glowing and I'll admit that after having been convinced that Andrew Wiggins was the guy to pick, these reports reminded just how good Joel Embiid could be in the NBA.
Watching Joel Embiid in workout for league executives in Santa Monica. Impossible to imagine passing on him at No. 1.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 23, 2014
Now, Embiid's abilities were never the question. If he had no health problems whatsoever, he's the obvious #1 pick and we're not debating about anything. But he suffered a stress fracture in his back and it remains to be seen how that will impact his NBA career down the road. So while he may have looked great today, it's no guarantee that these back issues won't flare up again and derail him on his path to greatness.
Looking healthy in a workout is not the same as being cleared by doctors after a thorough medical examination, unless your eyes can do MRIs.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 23, 2014
Before the Cleveland Cavaliers can select Embiid first overall and make him their center of the future, they have to make sure that his back isn't going to be a long-term issue. We don't really know how much medical information they will be able to get before now and the NBA Draft.
So here's what we know...
Embiid is an absurdly exciting prospect and the kind of player that doesn't come around very often.
Here's what we don't know...
whether or not he's going to have long term back problems.
With Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker available as elite prospects as well, it will be a difficult decision for the Cavs and their doctors to make before they determine who is worthy of the first overall pick.