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Thoughts on Embiid and the draft

Due to recent foot surgery, Joel Embiid could fall to the Celtics in the draft.
Due to recent foot surgery, Joel Embiid could fall to the Celtics in the draft.
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The NBA draft is less than a week away and the rumors are swirling among the NBA circles. All NBA teams are anxiously anticipating what the Minnesota Timberwolves will do with all-star Kevin Love. If Love is dealt before the draft, and Boston isn’t Love’s new home, then the C’s will have a lot of options to choose from before the draft. If the Celts don’t land Love, then it’s more likely than not that the Celts will be on a full rebuild, possibly trading Rondo and using both of their selections (#6 and #17) in the draft.

With the recent news of Joel Embiid’s foot surgery, the league’s General Managers are rushing to see Embiid’s post-surgical medical records. Considering similar past injuries (Bill Walton and Yao Ming), teams have become very wary of selecting Embiid, even with his potential. But there is one GM, Danny Ainge, who has proven that he is not afraid to take a chance on an injured prospect (see Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley)

If Embiid does fall to #6, the Celts would be crazy not to select the Kansas big man. Making this selection would prove the C’s aren’t going to win anytime soon, so why not take a chance on Embiid’s injury? It is so rare in today's NBA to have a natural shot blocker with the athletic ability that Embiid possesses. The closest NBA comparison for Embiid would be Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka.

Looking at the top of the draft though, it is more likely than not that Embiid will be gone when the Celts pick, either to Philadelphia or Orlando. If that is the case, the C’s will be choosing from an above average group of raw talent. Reading all the mock drafts and experts, you have to believe Ainge will take either Aaron Gordon from Arizona or Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State. I would like to see the C’s select Kentucky’s Julius Randle, but it appears that Ainge is enamored with the athleticism of Gordon, as well as Smart’s desire to win.

As far as the 17th pick goes, the Celts are going to get talent. UCLA’s Zack LaVine, has been projected to go at 17 to the Celtics, but has also been projected to go as early as 10th overall in some mock drafts. Although still very Young, the Celts would take a hard look at LaVine, who could be the best athlete in the draft.

But if available, the Celts should really think about selecting the ACC Player of the Year from North Carolina State, TJ Warren. Warren came out of nowhere last season, but the sophomore proved he can score. Warren averaged 24.1 PPG in a conference with some of the best teams in the nation. Sure, his 3PT shooting percentage isn’t something to be very happy about at 26%, but with Warren’s natural scoring ability, you have to believe he would be a steady role player in the NBA for a decade.

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