2014 NBA Draft: Joel Embiid Injures Foot, Could Hurt Draft Stock

Joel Embiid suffered a foot injury that could sink the Kansas center’s hopes of landing the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Sources say that Embiid has suffered a right foot injury, and though the severity of the injury is not yet known, it’s believed to be fairly serious. One source told ESPN.com that Embiid may have broken his foot, but the nature of the injury wouldn’t be fully known until he meets with doctors later in the week.

“He suffered a foot injury to his right foot sometime over the last few days,” agent Arn Tellem told ESPN’s Andy Katz by phone Thursday. “He’s getting evaluations from various doctors and experts in the field. We’ll know more Friday.”

Embiid saw his draft stock rise dramatically in recent weeks, after an impressive showing at an individual workout; drawing comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon. Reports said that the Cleveland Cavaliers were leaning toward selecting Joel Embiid with their No. 1 pick later this month.

But Embiid has also been plagued by injury troubles. He missed a chunk of the 2013-14 season — including the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments — after a back injury that only just healed.

“Joel Embiid is going to be the first pick of the 2014 draft,” Grantland’s Bill Simmons wrote before the draft lottery was held. “Don’t let anyone tell you differently…Unless Embiid’s pre-draft MRI reveals a career-threatening back issue (doubtful), NOBODY is passing on a franchise center.” Joel Embiid had already worked out for the Cavaliers and was scheduled to work out for the Milwaukee Bucks, who hold the No. 2 pick.It’s not immediately clear what the injury could do to Embiid’s draft status, but if team executives have concerns about his durability, it may cause him to drop. It could also hurt that there are two other likely stars at the top of the draft — Duke freshman Jabari Parker and Kansas wing Andrew Wiggins.

Whatever NBA draft hit Joel Embiid might suffer, it’s likely he wouldn’t fall out of the top three.