Would Joel Embiid really pass up a chance at being the #1 pick for another year at Kansas?
As the season has progressed, Wiggins' teammate Joel Embiid has started to garner quite a bit of buzz as well.
Now, despite the fact that he's being considered a top-3 (possibly even number one overall) pick in the NBA Draft, Embiid says that he's strongly considering staying at Kansas for at least another year.
This is a complicated decision for Embiid, who has only played organized ball for three years.
On one hand, it might be nice to become the top overall pick, take the money that goes along with it, and enjoy life. There are guaranteed millions waiting for him in the NBA, and you never know what could happen if he rejects them and waits another year.
Last year's #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett is a walking warning sign. He's having an abysmal rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It's not out of the question to say that he could have benefitted greatly from staying in school and taking an extra year to develop. However, there's a great chance that he wouldn't have been the top overall pick if he had stayed in school. Even if he had further honed his skills and molded himself into an even better prospect, there's still a chance that he'd be drafted behind players like Wiggins, Embiid, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart and others.
Bennett definitely would have lost quite a few dollars in the short term if he wasn't the #1 overall pick. But could he have ended up with a better career if he were better prepared for the NBA? That's possible. As it stands now, he needs to turn things around drastically if he wants any chance at a big contract once his rookie deal is over. Of course, there's plenty of time for that, but perhaps he would have been better off long-term if he had stayed in school.
Which category will Embiid fall in? Is he the kind of player who could benefit from another year or two against lower level competition to pull his game together and be a little less raw than he is right now? Sure. But would it be a good idea to forego being the #1 overall pick, when there's no guarantee when he'll be taken next year, or if he's taken at all?
Anything can happen, and of course there's also a risk that Embiid could become injured and his draft stock could plummet.
When all is said and done, I think he'll be entering the NBA Draft this year. While it's nice of him to show his school and his coach the respect of saying publicly there's a chance that he'll return, that's really not what most players do. If he has a chance to be a lottery pick in the NBA, I'd be shocked if he doesn't take it.