With Joel Embiid out for the next 4-6 months after foot surgery, the chances of him going No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers now seem all but dead.
Embiid’s stock is going to slip, but he’s likely going to stay within the top 10 and the lottery part of the first round. Some teams are willing to take a chance on him.
The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be one of them as they reportedly “would consider” drafting Embiid if he’s available at the No. 7 slot:
The Lakers would consider selecting Embiid should he become available, according to a person familiar with the Lakers’ thinking. But such an idea would hinge on Embiid’s recovery.
The Lakers are mindful there would be risk in selecting Embiid considering his recent back injury and his current foot fracture. But they are also aware of Embiid’s upside with various draft experts likening him to Hall of Famer center Hakeem Olajuwon. It is unclear what information in Embiid’s medical report and progress the Lakers would need to see that would make them feel comfortable picking Embiid assuming he stays undrafted before the seventh pick.
The Lakers could play it safe for Embiid by making him sit out his entire rookie year. If he turns out well, he could be the next great big men of the Lakers franchise like those before him such as Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and others.
It would definitely make his agent, Arn Tellem, happy as he wants Embiid to get drafted by either the Boston Celtics or the Lakers if he doesn’t go No. 1 to the Cavs.