Report: Joel Embiid all over Cavaliers’ radar
The NBA draft is right around the corner (Thursday, June 26th) and the anticipation for what could be the best draft since 2003 has built up to the point of overflowing. If you’re a basketball fan, then this is great, if you watch ESPN, but hate hoops, then you’re probably ready to get this time of the year over with. Then again, if you’re the latter, you probably wouldn’t be reading this, so I will assume you’re a basketball head.
The Cleveland Cavaliers landed the first overall pick (go figure) and reports have been all over the place as to who they’ll select. Kansas center, Joe Embiid worked out for the Cavs last week and apparently blew the doors off of everything.
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.
However, there have been conflicting reports coming out of Cleveland about Embiid’s physical, with one report stating the Cavs found multiple red flags. That’s been strongly disputed by the sources I have, but getting accurate information this time of year is especially challenging. I don’t see the incentive for the Cavs to leak that the physical was bad. It lessens the value of the No. 1 pick, especially considering that they are still looking at multiple trade options. The only way leaking it makes much sense is if they are thinking of swapping picks with the Sixers and want Embiid to fall to them there.
Regardless, the team also gets Andrew Wiggins (on Wednesday) and Jabari Parker (on Friday) in this week. Right now, I continue to believe Embiid is moving closer and closer to being the No. 1 pick, but if the physical was bad, a great trade offer comes in or if Wiggins or Parker blow the Cavs away in workouts, things could obviously change.
Embiid has never seemed like the clearer favorite to go number one than he does right now. Pair this workout with the fact that Bill Simmons recently saw Emiid work out in Los Angeles, where he said Embiids “back is fine”.
Many felt like Embiid was the consensus first overall pick prior to the back issues, but with this many people around the game signing off on him and his back, then I, personally, don’t see any issues either. Cleveland is slated to have Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins both workout for them this week, so we’ll check back afterwards and see if either of these two can change the Cavs’ minds.