Yahoo reported Thursday that Kansas center Joel Embiid is leaving school to pursue employment as a basketball player. The player reportedly is seeking an agent and will announce his decision shortly.
Joel Embiid said the report by NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski was news to him. The mentor who discovered Embiid as a teenager also denied that anything has been decided.
@humblekid11 haven't made a decision yet
— Joel-Hans Embiid (@jojo_embiid) March 27, 2014
@WojYahooNBA joel has not yet made a decision!
— Luc Mbah a Moute (@mbahamoute) March 27, 2014
Despite the denials, it’s highly likely that Embiid will continue the one-and-done tradition which has proliferated college basketball since the NBA enforced restrictions on draft entry.
Joel Embiid was impression for the Jayhawks in 2013-2014 leading the team alongside fellow star freshman Andrew Wiggins. The pair led coach Bill Self to his 10th straight Big 12 title. This June Embiid and Wiggins could go 1-2 in the NBA draft.
Embiid averaged 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks for Kansas, but missed the final six games of the season with a back injury. NBA teams not named the Portland Trail Blazers tend to be scared of 7 footers with history of back injury. Even with the risk, Embiid’s upside will be impossible for one NBA team to resist.
So even is Embiid isn’t saying right now that he’s going pro, it would be the smart decision to make. Play basketball for free or get paid to play basketball? For a 7 foot tall 20 year old like Joel Embiid it should be an easy decision to make.
[Image Credit: proforged]