Joel Embiid

Kansas center Joel EmbiddSchool: Kansas

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Birthday: 03/16/1994

NBA Position: C

Ht: 7-0

Wt: 250

WSPAN: 7-5

Hometown: Yaounde, Cameroon

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Ceiling:

Basement:

NBA Comparison:

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Strengths:

  • Elite Athlete
  • Long, Mobile Center
  • Fluid, Runs Floor Well
  • Great Footwork
  • Good Shooting Motion
  • NBA 3PT Range
  • Quality Defender
  • Shot-Blocking Instincts

Weaknesses:

  • Strength
  • Temperament
  • Still Learning The Game

Analysis:

02/17/2014

Athleticism: It is rare for a big man of Embiid’s size to be as fluid an athlete as he is. He runs the floor well, comfortably, and has very quick reflexes on both ends of the floor making plays in the paint. Embiid is not a flashy athlete, but takes full advantage of his size, quickness, and length as a scorer and as a defender. For a 7-footer Embiid is an elite athlete.

NBA Role: Potential franchise center and paint controller on both ends of the floor. In todays NBA there are very few athletes with the level of skill that Embiid has on both ends of the floor as a shot changer on defense and an effective back-to-the-basket scorer on offense. Hakeem Olajuwon was one of the best players in NBA history so that comparison is unfair at this stage, but there are similarities. Great athletes like Serge Ibaka, Robert Parish, or Bill Russell are also similar in some ways to the play of Embiid.

Overall Analysis: When I first saw Embiid live at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit he was a very raw talent that was clearly a special athlete. He was looked at as a 1-2 year project that was going to eventually be a lottery talent. Ten months later and Embiid is considered one of the top prospects in the world and a potential No. 1 Overall Pick in this year’s draft. All of the accolades and praise are warrented for Embiid as he has shown the potential to be a game changing big man in the paint. There are very athletes of this breed that are fluid athletes running the floor like a guard, but also have the size and skill-set to play with their back to the basket. Embiid has some of the best footwork on the block seen in years. He has the patience on the block to wait for the defense to be where he wants before setting into his move going to the basket. At this stage in his development Embiid has shown the ability to drop-step to the basket, has a very quick spin move, and can finish over either should efficiently. When the defense doubles or keys in on him Embiid he is patient, has a good escape dribble, and gets the ball out to one of his play-makers. In the post Embiid is not a great passer, but spots cutters well and can see over the defense to make plays for others. As a shooter Embiid has a smooth fluid stroke that can extend out to the three point line even though he does not use that very often. Offensively Embiid was supposed to be a work in progress, but his learning curve and ability to improve his game on a day-to-day basis is a very enticing trait. For his size Embiid plays with great energy and effort. He has a very high motor always getting back on both ends of the floor after the play is over and playing until the whistle every play. That aggressiveness has gotten him in foul trouble and his temperament has led to a few questionable flagarent fouls. While not a major concern, those are little things that translate negatively to the next level. On the defensive end Embiid has also improved as a shot-blocker and man-to-man defender. At this stage in his development he is a good individual defender with very good instincts as a shot-blocker. He has great length and quickness which allows Embiid to make a second play on the ball after initially missing or being out of position. Kansas has a good overall rebounding team so Embiid does not have noteworthy numbers, but his rebounding percentage (26.4%) is Top 10 in the NCAA and he does a good job of rebounding his area as well as keeping the ball alive when out of reach. The energy he plays will puts Embiid in good rebounding position consistently and with his length he has a very good knack for tipping the ball to teammates away from opponents when the ball is out of reach. Overall Embiid is a high end prospect that is worthy of the conversation of being the No. 1 Overall Pick in this draft. He improves his game daily, has much more potential, and has the ability to impact the game in nearly every way already at a position that is lacking at the next level.

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