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Kansas center Joel Embiid declares for 2014 NBA draft

April 09, 2014|By Eric Pincus
  • Kansas center Joel Embiid is slated to be one of the top picks of the 2014 NBA draft.
Kansas center Joel Embiid is slated to be one of the top picks of the 2014 NBA… (Rich Sugg / McClatchy-Tribune )

On Wednesday, Kansas center Joel Embiid declared for the 2014 NBA draft.

"Looking at different scenarios and gathering info of what was best for me ... either way was best for me," Embiid said at a news conference, as reported by Topeka Capital-Journal. "Talking to my mentor, it was the best choice."

Embiid was joined by his coach, Bill Self, who was there to support his 7-foot, 20-year-old outgoing freshman.

Through 28 appearances with the Jayhawks, Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.

He's expected to be a top-three pick in June's NBA draft, possibly going as high as No. 1.

Embiid's season was cut short with a stress fracture in his back. While he's not expected to need surgery, it could be a concern for teams in the draft.

Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins has also declared for the draft. Duke's Jabari Parker, also a top-three prospect, has yet to make his intentions known.

The Lakers (25-53) are currently slotted sixth in the NBA draft lottery, with a chance to climb to five before season's end -- assuming the Lakers don't win another game.

Embiid has the potential to be an impact center in the NBA, arguably similar to Andrew Bynum, who was the Lakers' last lottery pick (10th overall in 2005).

The only center the Lakers have under contract next season is Robert Sacre.

Embiid was named Big 12 defensive player of the year.  While he's still developing offensively, he has given glimpses of a true, low-post game.


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Twitter: @EricPincus

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