In ESPN Draft Insider Chad Ford’s latest mock draft (Insider Only), he had the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting Kansas center Joel Embiid No. 1 overall. Embiid to the Cavs isn’t a new storyline, as way back when Chris Grant was the GM and Embiid not a consensus top-three pick, Ford speculated that the Cavs would be one of the teams that would take Embiid at the top of the draft. But now, there may be reason to believe that Embiid will indeed be the pick on June 26.
According to Ford, Embiid’s workout and interview with the Cavaliers was a ‘major success’. And perhaps most importantly, Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert is on board with selecting Embiid. In one session, Embiid reportedly even launched (and hit) a handful of 3-pointers.
This report comes at an interesting time. The draft is just nine day away and the Cavs will be working out both Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker later this week. And perhaps more importantly, this is the most valid news source reporting that Embiiid’s visit to Cleveland was a success. Local radio host Tony Rizzo ‘reported’ that Embiid failed his physical, while a few others ‘reported’ that Embiid and passed and would be the pick. While Ford doesn’t give an details about Embiid’s physical, he likely passed if Ford’s sources are right and the whole visit was a success. After all, the physical was the main reason for Embiid’s visit.
Embiid’s back, which he injured in his lone season at Kansas, is what hurts his stock as a top prospects. If he’s hurt and his back is a long term liability, teams will pass, as they don’t want their own Greg Oden situation. But if his back is indeed okay, Embiid may indeed be the frontrunner.