UPDATE (12:20 PM PT): Joel Embiid has officially announced he will enter the 2014 NBA Draft according to Fox Sports Hoops:
#Kansas freshman C Joel Embiid announces he will enter the 2014 NBA draft.
— FOX Sports: Hoops (@HoopsonFOX) April 9, 2014
With the 2013-14 NBA season dwindling down, there has been rampant speculation as to which elite prospects will forgo their collegiate eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft. Several players, including Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins and Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart, have already announced their intention to declare for the draft.
Fans and NBA teams have been waiting to hear from the potential number one pick in both Duke’s Jabari Parker and Kansas’ Joel Embiid.
According to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, Embiid is expected to announce his decision to go pro tomorrow afternoon in a press conference with Kansas Coach Bill Self:
Joel Embiid will announce his plans to enter the NBA Draft during a press conference with Kansas coach Bill Self on Wednesday at 2 p.m central time, multiple sources told SNY.tv.
Despite constant back injuries, Embiid is seen as a lock for a top three pick, trailing only fellow Kansas player Wiggins and should he choose to go pro, Parker. Embiid is a native of Cameroon and entered the season in the shadow of Wiggins, but his player over the course of the year drastically improved his draft stock.
Embiid is still raw and lacks the offensive game of other elite draft prospects such as Parker and Wiggins, but many scouts believe his ceiling is as high as any player in this draft. His back injuries will certainly draw some attention from teams but as long as Emiid’s tests show no long term damage, teams will have no problem selecting the freshman phenom.
With the Lakers seemingly set to move on from Pau Gasol this off-season, Embiid would make a nice addition to a frontcourt that has struggled mightily on the defensive end. Embiid recently said on Twitter that he wants to live in Los Angeles, only adding to speculation that he would want to play for the Lakers.
The Lakers are expected to have a top pick come June and with so many potential players available, it will be interesting to see which direction they go in.
NBA Draft Profile: JOEL EMBIID