Joel Embiid, one of the best players in college basketball last season, will leave the Kansas Jayhawks to enter the 2014 NBA Draft after just one season with the school.
Pay per head services share what Kansas Basketball posted on Twitter:
“After thinking a lot, I decided to declare for the @NBA.” – Joel Embiid
Embiid, a 7’0″, 250 pounds center spent his first season with Kansas making noise and, at times, outshining fellow freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins. Embiid registered 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, becoming a factor on both sides of the court in the post.
Embiid posted huge numbers throughout the season but he struggled through a back injury at the end of the year that cost him multiple games, including his team’s two contests in the NCAA Tournament, which will certainly be a concern for teams that will want to see him train his hardest during offseason workouts.
Despite the injury concerns, NBADraft.net has him listed at the top of their big board and compares him to Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon, two of the best players in NBA history.
Those high expectations can sometimes burden a player, Embiid put up big numbers in college with relative ease, so his game should translate well to the NBA. His defense is just as strong as his offensive game, so that’s something working on his favor. Embiid already has the size and interior presence to be an immediate contributor as a rookie, which is why he is projected as a number one pick.