Joel Embiid kansas

2014 NBA Draft Player Profile: Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid kansas
(Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)


Joel Embiid
Kansas – Freshman (Born 1994)
7’0″ 250 lbs


College Accolades:

Second Team AP All-American (2014)
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (2014)
Second Team All-Big 12 (2014)
Big 12 All-Defensive Team (2014)
Big 12 All-Newcomer Team (2014)


The Good:

- 7’5″ wingspan
- great athlete for his size
- very good footwork/agility from years playing soccer and volleyball
- still new to the game, so lots and lots of upside
- defensive menace due to his long arms and athleticism
- racks up plenty of steals and blocks
- efficient scorer
- has Hakeem-esque low post moves
- good at drawing fouls
- solid free throw shooter for a big man
- very good rebounder
- good passer for a center
- got better and better as his freshman year at Kansas progressed

The Bad:

- a year older than other freshman
- very inexperienced – hasn’t played sport for very long
- didn’t play big minutes (23.1/game) in college
- stress fracture in back made him miss the end of season
- broken foot required surgery right before the draft
- big man + injury concerns (especially to back & feet) are a red flag
- turnover concerns
- foul prone
- not very assertive on offense – doesn’t take many shots
- basketball IQ not there yet due to inexperience


The Video Proof:

NBA Comparison: 

Poor man’s Hakeem Olajuwon, healthy Greg Oden


The Skinny:

It’s never fair to compare a young, inexperienced prospect to The Dream, but that is the player who Embiid patterns his game after.  While it would be foolish to expect the second coming of Hakeem – ever – Embiid is a very unique package of size, athleticism and potential.  But the inexperience and a possible wonky back are definitely concerns.

For more NBA draft player profiles, visit our 2014 NBA Draft Consensus Mock Draft

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