Celtics Blog

Joel Embiid Suffers Foot Injury…Could He Fall to the Celtics on Draft Night?

WALTHAM — Kansas center Joel Embiid had been widely considered a candidate for the number one pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. However, a new injury may cause his draft stock to take a significant dip.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com is reporting that doctors have discovered Embiid has suffered a right foot injury.

UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is now reporting that Embiid has suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and will undergo surgery on Friday. He will be sidelined for several months.

“He suffered a foot injury to his right foot sometime over the last few days,” agent Arn Tellem told ESPN’s Andy Katz by phone Thursday. “He’s getting evaluations from various doctors and experts in the field. We’ll know more Friday.” One source told ESPN.com that Embiid “may have broken” his foot, but Tellem wouldn’t speculate on the seriousness of the injury until he had heard from doctors. Tellem also said it was unlikely Embiid would be doing any more workouts before the draft, which is June 26.

Embiid has also dealt with lingering concerns from teams about the back injury that forced him to miss the Big 12 and NCAA Tournament back in March.

The extent of the foot injury is not yet known, but draft experts are already speculating that Embiid’s draft position will take a serious hit if the foot is broken.

Embiid’s injury could change the entire dynamic of the first round and present a host of new questions for the Celtics. First, is it possible that Embiid could fall to the sixth overall pick if Embiid’s foot is broken? And if he does fall, would the Celtics have interest in drafting the injury-plagued big man despite the foot issue? Additionally, how would this development affect Boston’s potential pursuit of Kevin Love? Bill Simmons shared some thoughts on all of these possibilities.

There’s no question that one of the greatest needs on the Celtics right now is a rim-protecting big man, so you can bet the Celtics will strongly consider Embiid if he is available.


Boston Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge spoke about the potential impact of the injury on Embiid’s draft stock today in Waltham.

“Those are always concerns,” Ainge admitted when speaking about Embiid’s injury, “Especially when it’s a player like that we won’t be able to have in to evaluate, to really get the risks from our medical staff. There’s a lot of guesswork involved, but you are always trying to weight short-term and long-term.”

Ainge continued: “We try to think long-term that if a guy has to miss a couple months, it shouldn’t deter us from taking him if he is going to be the best player long-term. We’ve had some success with that with [Avery] Bradley and [Jared] Sullinger. There can be some value there, but there’s always risk.”

For now, the Celtics, like other teams around the league, must wait for Embiid’s diagnosis before considering what’s next.

Jump To Comments


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com