Lakers NBA Draft Prospect Watch: Kansas’ Joel Embiid

Lakers NBA Draft Prospect Watch: Kansas’ Joel Embiid


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Coming into the 2013-14 NCAA basketball season there was one freshman the media, scouts, and fans were enthralled with; Andrew Wiggins of Kansas.

Wiggins has had a productive season so far, but his Jayhawk big man Joel Embiid has taken over as the man the country is talking about.

Embiid can flat out be scary good. He is a 7’0″, 250 pound post player with moves that look like he has been doing them for years. He is both fluid and under control with every step he takes.

Another major thing about Embiid is he has only been playing the game seriously for two years… and he’s already doing this.

The catch, the footwork, the finish. All make you wonder what he will be able to do in two more years.

When he makes a clean catch on the offensive end, he will score on you every single time unless you constantly send a double team, which teams have started to do. On Monday, against eighth ranked Iowa State, Embiid showed his basketball iq is improving as well.

The Cyclones sent numerous double teams, and Embiid either went quick to the rim and finished strong or took two dribbles away from the double and passed to the open man. He showed the total package scoring 16 points to go with nine rebounds and five blocks.

On the defensive end, you can tell why GM’s absolutely are ready to spend their first round pick on the Cameroon native. He alters and blocks so many shots and his timing is precise. He moves his feet very well for a big man and waits for shooters to commit to going up with the ball for him to contest. On rebounds he keeps the ball high and makes the right outlet pass to get the Jayhawks out into the open court, where his teammates (like Wiggins) flourish. One of his best attributes are his hands. He has no problem offensively catching a bad pass, and on the defensive side he averages a little less than 1 steal per outing.

One thing Embiid needs to watch is his temper. It’s always good to have a big man who isn’t soft and wants to bang, but Embiid was recently tossed from a game against rival Kansas State for a flagrant-2 blow to the face. The next game against the Cyclones, he received a flagrant-1 foul, this time for getting tangled up.

Now we know that Embiid is a competitive guy, and if I am an NBA team I love this. You don’t want a player that is just going to coast through games, you want a winner. If Embiid can display his emotion in another way, maybe through dunking on his opponent instead of hitting them, you have your guy for the future.

Most big men at this level have a glaring weakness. Most can’t shoot the ball from distance, for example. Embiid hit a 3-pointer against the Wildcats, and an 18-footer. Cyclones coach Frank Hoiberg called Embiid, “…the best player in the nation.”

The rate he is improving at is something we have never seen before from a big man this young.

The Jayhawks have an important match-up this Saturday against Marcus Smart and Oklahoma State. You have three guys in this game that can/ will go top five; Embiid, Wiggins and Smart.

I will be covering the other two at a later date, but if the Lakers have the first pick come June… Embiid should be their guy.

If you missed our previous analysis of UCLA’s Zach LaVine, be sure to check that out too.
NBA Draft Profile: DANTE EXUM

  • MambaMentality24

    It would be nice to get joel embiid, dante exum, or zach lavine. I really don’t mind the Lakers losing right now.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    I think Joel Embiid has the best footwork i have ever seen for a college center but he does need to work on his jumper and free throws.Also he is a weak rebounder much like Brook Lopez and his Post Defense is horrendous he gets pushed and backed down way too easy,he is too weak on defense.

    Also Joel Embiid is turnover prone he gets the ball stripped from him way too much.Also he is foul prone and he has a bad temper that has gotten him ejected this season.

    Another thing is Embiid is way too raw and green to be in the NBA next season.He is barely learning the game and he has no chance against a big bully big man right now.Plus the NBA has become a Point Guard driven league and scoring is way up and the game is way too fast for Joel Embiid he is too big to play 82 games effectively against these fast speedy guards and wings.NBA is a fast paced league high scoring.Jim please noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    • This guy is an idiot ^

      You do not know anything.Every team would take a REAL big man with point guard flexibility and a soft touch anyway. Do you realize he has only been playing for two years?? imagine howngood he will be at the start of the season. As a KU student,i can say that Embiid gets better every game,and he is a rare breed that nature seldom ever makes any more.Did i mention he has a soft shot? you saying he can’t shoot means you know nothing. Come back when you watch more than one KU game and have an idea of how good he actually is.

      • LakersHeatBeef

        Oh okay their is upside i grant you that.But however me personally would be cautious drafting him number one.I know that Hasheem Thabeet and Michael Olwokandi were said to be the next Hakeem Olajuwon and yet they were both major busts drafted in the top of the lottery.Also Kwame Brown was supposed to be the second coming of Wilt and he was a bust being drafted number 1.

        I don’t want to go back and forth with you on this that’s not my style.This is not a back and forth pissing contest of who can piss further lol ha ha ha.

        Call me a idiot only you are right about Joel Embiid in a few years but for right now it’s way too early to talk crap to me or anyone else and i will be willing to eat all the crow in the world.But for now he is a unproven player and only time will tell what he does on the NBA level.He is not my type of player that is all.

        He needs to bulk up and add a jumper and some toughness.He can’t shoot free throws that good only 67.1 % yikes.Also his stats are not very impressive to me 10.9 PPG. And 7.4 Rebounds and he had 7 turnovers in his last game he avewrages 2.1 TO a game.Those are weak stats for a potential #1 pick.Hakeem Olajuwon had way better rebounding and shot blocking stats in his college career at Houston.Here are the stats of Hakeem Olajuwon in college.

        Hakeem Olajuwon averages his coming out year to the NBA.

        PPG 16.8 Rebounds 13.5 Blocks 5.6 FG% 67.5%

        Yeah you’re boy Joel Embiid is no Hakeem The Dream.Stop it.

        I wish him the best but he has a lot to prove the people.I have watched every televised Kansas game and i am more impressed with Andrew Wiggins so far and also Wayne Seldon JR. is coming on strong as a freshaman.Tharpe is a good college Point Guard but not a NBA prospect.Perry Ellis is solid IMO.Embiid has had some good games but he does have flaws that must be corrected in order for him to transcend into a superstar tbh.It is what it is.Prove me wrong Embiid.

        • Joel Embiid’s uncle

          Embiid is a freshman, dude. You can’t compare him to a 21 year old Olajuwon. Hakeem played three years of college ball, his stats after his first season: 8.3 ppg 6.2 rpg. Also, 67% from the line is actually pretty good for a freshman 7 footer. Oh, and I don’t remember anyone calling Kwame fucking Brown the “second coming of Wilt”.

      • Devon Murray

        Ive been watching JE since his highschool days and EVERY KU game.. he needs to get stronger, work on a go to shot, develop a 5, 10 ft shot, work on his timing on defense (a great defender in college..but college isn’t the “L”) We have to wait to see how goos he’s going to be, Lakersheatbeef is right, Thabeet, Olwokandi, Kwame brown, Tyson Chandler, Johnathan Bender ALL were the next so and so… pause.. lets wait and see how he develops… YOU and most didn’t even know about JE until a few games into the KU season… when “experts” were talking about the “3” superstars of college… organize for only 2 years we’ll see if he develops more.

        • Ammonzy

          You clearly dont know how to analyze talent regardless of how many games you’ve watched. Joel Embiid is incredibly strong, his issue is more so toughness and willing to take and initiate contact. Joel’s body is NBA ready, period, but mentality he isnt in terms of that desire to “battle”. Timing on blocks all comes from experience, but the fact that he’s an elite shot blocker shows how immense his physical skills are and how rapidly he has learned the game. Joel Embiid has a serviceable jump-shot, not amazing but he’ll hit an open jumper. Every player you just mentioned doesnt have 1/2 the potential that Embiid oozes, not the combination of size and athleticism, history of rapid improvement, or even the offensive ability Joel displays with his already impressive footwork. Joel Embiid is Anthony Davis with a more impressive offensive moveset and higher ceiling. Dude is carrying the a blue blood program in 3 year of his basketball career, give him some major props.

          • Devon Murray

            Wow, how ridiculous is this post… So let me get this straight.. JE body is NBA ready, so youre suggesting that he is ready to bang bodies down low with the likes of D. Howard, D. Cousins, K. Perkins and Roy Hibbert, that’s just being silly. Your second statement, all you did was regurgitate what I said… Thirdly every player I brought up ALL had the “potential” label coming into college and if their talents translated to the “L”, so youre basically not saying anything on that point: potential is exactly that potential.. GM’s get blame and Coaches get fired because of said potential… Lastly, JE is good however he is no where near A. Davis are you serious??? Have you even watch ANY game that A. Davis played IN THE NBA don’t compare a kid in college with a guy already producing on a high level in the NBA.. And apparently someone with your low basketball knowledge would say it doesn’t matter if you ACTUALLY watch a game that a player has played in as long as a reporter or a “scout” said he has talent and potential… thank goodness youre not a GM…

  • MDA Offense Is Kinky

    How many touches a game do you think Joel Embiid will get playing for MDA?????Remember MDA likes to ignore the big men on offense and he hates post players it slows down his fast paced system.MDA has had major issues implementing Shaq,Dwight Howard,Pau Gasol into his offensive system in the past their is no way a raw limited offensive player like Joel Embiid could ever fit into the MDA system not ever going to happen.

    At best big men Julius Randle or Adrien Payne would fit into the MDA system because they are big man that can shoot the ball much like a young Amare Stoudemire did for MDA years ago.

    But Andrew Wiggins would fit in perfect with the Mike D’Antoni run and gun offense,he would be perfect for it.Since Andrew Wiggins plays end to end and never stops running he has a big motor and he is very athletic and faster than a greyhound dog.Drafting Andrew Wiggins would be better for the Lakers.

    • kobe24

      You sound like MDA is gonna be here for a long time…Please I hope not

  • Oh Henry

    Oh come on everyone Joel Embiid is a amazing big man he is the quickest bi man i have ever seen and he get to the hoop faster than a cheetah,he is the future of the NBA.He finishes at the hoop with power yet his moves are cat quick to the rim.The kid Joel Embiid has the best hops for any big man in the NCAA.Also he is a fearless player he never backs down from any challenge.

    Every time i watch Joel Embiid play i think he is a prime Hakeem Olajuwon.I actually think Joel Embiid will be a much more better pro player than he is a college player.Embiid will put up superstar numbers in the NBA and i think he will be better than Hakeem Olajuwon was but that is just my opinion right now based what i have seen him do in his games this season at Kansas.The Lakers are famous for getting great big man let the tradition continue.Mikan,KAJ,Shaq,Embiid.

  • Cali Swag

    I love Joel Embiid he is awesome he is the best center.Wilt,Embiid Kansas legends.

  • In The Game

    Next season we should change it up and add Joel Embiid.

    PG Mario Chalmers,Kendall Marshall
    SG Kobe Bryant,Nick Young,Xavier Henry
    SF LeBron James,Wes Johnson,
    PF Jordan Hill,Ryan Kelly
    C Joel Embiid,Jason Smith,Robert Sacre

    • Evan

      I said this below, to Phil, but I’ll say it again, “Chances extremely slim that we would pick up LeBron. Even if he were to
      leave Miami, do you think he’d want to help Kobe get another ring?”

      Everything else looks pretty plausible. But, if Kendall Marshall continues to dish out 10, 14, 17 assists, wouldn’t it be best to keep him as our starter? He’s younger, and seems to be doing quite well as a PG on a much worse team than Chalmers.

  • Phil

    Yup i rather the Lakers draft Andrew Wiggins.Much better to have Andrew Wiggins for the long term in the open court he is unstoppable and i am a big Jay Hawks fan and i watch him play.Lakers need Andrew Wiggins and some max free agent named LeBron James to make the Lakers prominent in the NBA again.This is rock bottom it’s time to find a team that is a long term plan.Lets defend and rebound.
    Wish list for next season .2014-2015 Lakers Show me the money Buss Family.

    Hire Phil Jackson And Go On A Championship Run.

    PG Mario Chalmers+Kendall Marshall
    SG Kobe Bryant+Nick Young
    SF LeBron James+Andrew Wiggins+Shane Battier
    PF Udonis Haslem+Jordan Hill
    C The Birdman Chris Andersen+Jason Smith

    • Evan

      Chances extremely slim that we would pick up LeBron. Even if he were to leave Miami, do you think he’d want to help Kobe get another ring?

    • juan

      umm… it looks like you’re just merging the lakers and the heat… -.-

  • john mc ardle

    Go Joel Embiid! Sounds like he has a lot of potential! We’ll take him! Heck, we’ll take anyone! But seriously, we’ll have to keep an eye on him! Thanks for info…

  • dimes

    i hope the lakers will able to get this Kid, he got game and I shure 2 years from now he can kick the ass of d12 the cry baby

  • Nick The Quick

    I think the biggest thing no matter whom we get, is that we have a 2 year window to create a potential next franchise/next kobe-esk type player. And I’m not saying exactly like kobe, but I’m just saying similar intangibles. I am talking about a guy who can have that 24/7 work ethic, a guy who can be the voice of the team on and off the floor, and someone who is willing to learn and basically sleep-eat-breathe to become the best. Because to me, I think the FO thought they saw it in Bynum and D12, but it didn’t work out, because those two thought they had they had the torch, but never had what it takes. I know they saw it in CP3, but THE VETOER changed those plans. So I think with them signing kobe for the next 2 years, I think this is their window of opportunity to find that potential or similar DNA that Kobe has.