Kansas star Joel Embiid – a possible No. 1 overall choice – has decided to enter the June NBA draft, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Embiid, a 20-year-old, 7-foot freshman, rapidly emerged as one of college basketball’s major talents and moved into competition with Jayhawks teammate Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabari Parker to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft.
Wiggins has been consistent in saying he’ll only play one year of college basketball, and Parker says he still is deciding whether he’ll enter the draft.
A formal announcement on Embiid’s decision is expected soon. In the past week, Embiid has progressed in settling on agent representation, but no final decision has been made, sources said.
Embiid’s season ended prematurely with a stress fracture in his back, costing him the final two games of the regular season, the Big 12 tournament and Kansas’ two games in the NCAA tournament. Until the injury, Kansas was considered a serious national championship contender.
There’s a strong expectation Embiid will make a full recovery, but NBA teams will closely examine the long-term fitness of the injury.
Embiid has shown to be a dominating presence on offense and defense, offering NBA executives evidence he could transform into a rare franchise center. A native of Cameroon, he enrolled at a Florida prep school as a 16-year-old with limited experience as a basketball player.
Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 23 minutes a game for Kansas this season.
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