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Jazz: Embiid's hurt foot and how it affects Utah

Published June 19, 2014 10:15 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The news has been reported and the shock waves are rippling through the NBA world.

Potential franchise big man, Kansas' Joel Embiid, has hurt his foot, according to ESPN.com.

That has the potential to shake up the entire top 10 of next week's NBA Draft. Before today, Embiid was almost a lock to go No. 1 to Cleveland. Now? That's certainly in jeopardy, and there's a chance that Embiid's slide could be steep.

This is big news. When healthy, Embiid is smooth, yet startling athletic for a seven-footer. He's a defensive stalwart, yet can score with the ball in his hands on the post.

But, and this is a huge BUT, he's had a back and a foot injury in the span of six months and hasn't yet hit his 21st birthday. That's a red flag for the ages. The Jazz have had their fill of bigs with foot issues, so their reaction has been mixed at best.

There is a possibility Embiid falls to Utah's No. 5 pick. Do the Jazz pick him? Big question that needs to be answered.

On one hand, the Jazz need a franchise player, and Embiid absolutely has franchise talent. On the other, the Jazz can't afford to swing and miss on this draft, and picking Embiid opens that door.

On one hand, the Jazz need someone on the floor for 75 games a season. On the other? What if they pass on Embiid — assuming he's there — and Boston or Los Angeles pick him up and he flourishes?

Maybe the best case scenario is Embiid being off the board at 5. That way, the Jazz won't have to make that choice.

Either way. This draft — as if this were even possible — has just gotten more interesting.

Tony Jones






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