In the 2014 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers rolled the dice on Kansas center Joel Embiid with the 3rd overall pick. Over a year later, the decision to select Joel Embiid looks more than just a bad decision. It looks like an embarrassing decision.
Two troubling reports about Joel Embiid surfaced this month. The first report is that Joel Embiid was hostile towards the team’s strength coach last season. The second report is that Embiid was sloppy in his rehab from foot surgery, which has subsequently resulted in his foot needing a second operation.
It’s one thing for a guy to be physically frail. It’s another thing for a guy to be getting paid millions of dollars to attack a strength coach and only wear his walking boot when he wants to wear it. That appears to be what Joel Embiid has been doing and as a result, he has embarrassed the entire Philadelphia 76ers organization.
What makes Embiid’s behavior embarrassing for the organization is the fact that going into the 2014 NBA Draft, he was already viewed as a risky pick based on his health alone. For him to have attitude problems in addition to his physical problems really does make it appear as though the 76ers really did not do their homework.
I understand that in principle, the 76ers made the best choice based on Embiid’s potential as well as the fact that both Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker were off the board. But knowing what we know about him from both a physical and mental standpoint, choosing to select him really does appear to be an idiotic and foolish move.
In an even more embarrassing twist, the 76ers appear to have already given up on Embiid by selecting Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the 3rd overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. The 76ers are banking on Okafor being their franchise centerpiece while Joel Embiid continues to giggle on the bench, collecting money that he doesn’t rightfully deserve. By selecting Okafor, the 76ers essentially admitted that selecting Embiid was the wrong decision.
In conclusion, unless Joel Embiid never has another serious setback with his body and changes his attitude, which at this point seems highly unlikely, he will go down as one of the most disappointing draft picks in recent memory. He was getting comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon and sadly, he appears to be an even bigger failure than both Sam Bowie and Greg Oden.
76ers GM Sam Hinke’s get rich quick scheme by piling up high draft picks will only pay off if he makes the right picks and correctly evaluates talent. So far, he doesn’t appear to be doing a good job of that and might be out of a job before he ever sees his maniacal plan pay off.