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Cleveland Cavaliers downgrade Joel Embiid, but should they draft him?

Embiid shows of his post moves in the Big 12
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Joel Embiid had necessary foot surgery on Friday, less than a week before he was slotted to go No. 1 in the NBA draft. Whether or not the mock drafts were going to come out to fruition seem irrelevant, but the mythical shakeup is real. It could have been posturing by Cleveland's front office, however, it's almost a certainty that Embiid will not be the overall No. 1 pick.

Still, there's a problem with that thinking. If you feel Joel Embiid is the best player in the draft, then you need to take him. The overreaction to a couple screws being inserted into his navicular bone should not scare any front office from taking him.

Two screws inserted into navicular bone in right foot of Joel Embiid today, agent Arn Tellem says.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 20, 2014

I'm not here to tell teams to take any player, but I will say that, if he's the best player on your board, there's no reason to change game plans. Everybody knows the NBA draft is based on potential. Therefore, acting like it's a big deal that Embiid will miss 4-6 months, or an entire season is laughable.

Joel Embiid's recovery process is expected to cover 4-to-6 months, sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 20, 2014

After Blake Griffin was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2009 draft, he played exactly zero regular season games. After displaying a spectacular high flying ensemble in the preseason of his rookie year, Blake Griffin was forced to have surgery on his broken kneecap. (You can see how that has hampered his athletic ability). Instead of coming back for the second half of the season, he was ruled out for the entire rookie campaign in early January.

All Griffin has done since is average 21.4 points and 10 rebounds per game in his first four seasons. He's had one year where he averaged fewer than 20 points. Blake Griffin has also missed four games since his career eventually started.

However, it's almost safe to say that if Blake Griffin would have sustained a broken Kneecap before the draft, his stock would have dropped. That's why teams shouldn't over think the draft process.

Now I ask again. Should the Cleveland Cavaliers take Joel Embiid with the first pick? It's hands down the right move if that's who they were planning on taking in the first place.

If the Cavs are worried about long term issues with the foot and back problem, they really shouldn't be. Players move so swiftly nowadays, thinking long term isn't very logical. Lebron James spent seven years in Cleveland and he was gone by the age of 25. Cleveland also might lose Kyrie Irving by the time he hits his prime as well. However, it's not out of the realm of possibility that James ends up back in Cleveland in 2015.

Joel Embiid is not the only Big 12 center with problems leading up to the draft. Baylor center Isaiah Austin was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome and his basketball playing career was over before he ever touched the NBA hardwood.

It proves that Embiid's ailments really aren't as serious as NBA teams think.