Feb 4, 2014; Waco, TX, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) warms up before the game against the Baylor Bears at the Ferrell Center. The Jayhawks defeated the Bears 69-52. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

[Poll] Would You Still Draft Joel Embiid First Overall?

As Jay-Z once said, “It was all good just a week ago.”

That line directly applies to 2014 NBA Draft participate Joel Embiid. A week ago, Embiid was being lauded for his efforts in draft workouts, with all certain he’d be taken first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even a back injury wasn’t enough to deter teams away from the consensus top-ranked prospect, but the line of worry has been crossed.

This particular injury is expect to sideline Embiid for an extended period of time, causing his draft stock to ‘plummet’. When ‘draft stock’ and ‘plummet’ are typically used in the same sentence, the drop mentioned is drastic. From lottery pick to late first rounder. From first round pick to second round pick. From late first round pick to falling out of the draft completely. But for the Kansas center, Embiid’s drop is miniscule.

Upon the news of the foot injury, many draft experts (ESPN, Draft Express, etc.) predicted Embiid could fall, at most, to the fourth overall pick which is held by the Orlando Magic. With the draft expected to hold plenty depth, there have been some that expect Embiid could possibly fall to the Los Angeles Lakers at 7.

No one is really sure, but one thing is for certain: Embiid’s talent is what truly stands out here. Even with an injury that has threatened the career of big man such as Bill Walton and Yao Ming, Embiid could still be selected at the beginning of the draft. During college, Embiid showed traits that’d make the standard NBA scout wilt. He’s shown the ability to score on the block, has displayed flashes of defensive brilliance, and is an excellent creator out of the low/high post. On paper he’s the best prospect available by a lengthy margin.

But injuries aren’t to be taken lightly, especially when the fate of your franchise is at stake here. For the last four years, no one has known that a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers is going to do at draft night and with their guy in Embiid possibly out of the running for the first overall pick in this draft, that know has drifted further into existence.

So we ask you: If you were the Cleveland Cavaliers, would you still draft Joel Embiid first overall?

Would you draft Joel Embiid first overall?

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