Kansas Jayhawks Basketball

Joel Embiid Will Leave Kansas to Enter 2014 NBA Draft

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R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IApril 9, 2014

Joel Embiid, arguably the biggest breakout star in college basketball, will be taking his talents to the NBA after just one season with the Kansas Jayhawks.   

Kansas Basketball reported the news on Twitter:

Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv also shared the news as it became official:

The Jayhawks' official account shared more from both Embiid and head coach Bill Self:

Despite the fact that he's losing a teammate, guard Wayne Selden Jr. applauded Embiid's decision:

The freshman center, who started the season as a bench player for Kansas, rapidly improved as the season progressed, at times outshining fellow phenom Andrew Wiggins. A dominant presence in the post at both ends of the court, the 7-footer finished with season averages of 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. 

Though he was a difference-maker whenever he was on the court, Embiid was forced out of the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments with a back injury, which is especially concerning given his size.  

NBADraft.net has Embiid listed at the top of its big board despite concerns over his long-term health, however, and projects him to be a player the likes of Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon—two of the greatest big men in NBA history. Lofty expectations can sometimes burden a player, but with the relative ease in which Embiid put up big numbers in college, his game should translate well to the NBA.

Given his two-way abilities and the dearth of talented centers in the NBA today, teams at the top of the draft will be drooling over the prospect of adding the Cameroon native. The real question that remains is where exactly he will slot amongst the top picks given this year's loaded draft class. 

 

Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter.

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