Joel Embiid's talent is too great for Sacramento to pass up if he falls to 8

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Huge news from the NBA Draft world broke today when it was announced that Joel Embiid had suffered a foot injury.  The severity of the injury was not known until just recently, when Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that Embiid had suffered a stress fracture in his foot and would be requiring surgery to fix.  This injury, combined with the back injury he had already suffered during the NCAA season, is causing draft prognosticators to project a fall for Embiid in the draft, where previously he had been almost certainly slated to go in the Top 3.

Nobody wants to draft the next Greg Oden, so pre-draft injuries to big men, especially ones that could be chronic such as stress fractures, are seen as huge red flags.  Just ask Yao Ming, whose foot injuries caused him to retire early.  The same nearly happened for Zydrunas Ilgauskas and could be happening to Brook Lopez.

All that being said, it's hard to say just how far Embiid will fall because of this news or even if his fall will bring him down to the 8th pick in the draft, which Sacramento currently holds.  Should Embiid fall to 8 though, I'm of the belief the Kings should snap him up immediately, as his talent is too valuable to pass up even with the injury risk involved.

You see, the entire NBA draft is a risk because you can't say for sure how these players will be in the NBA.  Some guys that are currently projected to be stars might not even make it through their rookie contracts.  Others relegated to the 2nd round or late 1st may be future All-Stars or get a max contract.  There really isn't a great way to know.  The risk at the top is the biggest though because if you screw up a top-3 pick that's a big opportunity you let pass by, which is probably why Embiid will no longer be considered a top-3 pick himself.

That risk gets a lot smaller the farther you go down in the draft though and at 8, I would consider it not much of a risk for Sacramento at all given Embiid's talent.  Embiid's injuries could be chronic, or they could just be ill-timed flukes, just like a player's success in college could point to NBA success or not.  Embiid is a player that for Sacramento would fit both the "Best Player Available" AND "Best Fit Available".  Are his injuries a cause for concern? Absolutely, but the chance to draft a guy that has top-3 pick talent doesn't come along often.

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