Chad Ford is the gold standard of NBA draft reporting. He doesn't always get it right, but rarely gets it wrong. If he's going to state he thinks Joel Embiid's workout in Cleveland went well based on what his sources tell him, well, I'm going to put a good bit of stock in it.
And, lo and behold, in his latest mock draft at ESPN (Insider), he did just that:
Embiid's workout and interview in Cleveland last week were major successes, according to sources close to the Cavs. Embiid did a full workout there in front of the Cavs' front office and owner Dan Gilbert. Multiple sources said that the team was blown away with the workout. Embiid even ended one session by launching and nailing a series of 3s. Directly after the workout, two different sources told me that Embiid was the strong favorite to be drafted by the Cavs. Even Gilbert was on board.
Ford then goes on to address the allegations from radio personality Tony Rizzo that there had been multiple red flags on Embiid physically in the workout, and that the Cavs wouldn't end up drafting the Kansas big man. He doesn't totally discount them, and says good information is hard to come by this time of year. Still, Ford has Embiid going number one to the Cavs, and based on his previous reporting on Dan Gilbert needing to sign off on the pick, it sounds like that might have happened.
Embiid is a 7'0 250 pound center from Cameroon. He has a 7'5 wingspan. There have been questions about the health of his back after suffering a stress fracture and missing the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments. He is thought to be skilled and versatile. He has played basketball for just over three years. He projects as an excellent rim protecting defender who can post up, finish out of the pick and roll, or pick and pop. He showed above average passing instincts for a man of his experience and size. He often got lost in space defensively, and fouled and turned the ball over at high rates.
Andrew Wiggins of Kansas works out in Cleveland on Wednesday, and Jabari Parker will be in town Friday. We have nine days to go until the NBA draft and it seems unlikely the Cavs have made up their minds. General Manager David Griffin and Dan Gilbert are also still searching for a head coach.