Joel Embiid is in Cleveland today to meet with the Cavaliers, a league source confirmed. Embiid is believed to be the first of the prospective draft picks at No. 1 overall to meet with Cavs officials, and his meeting might just be the most important of any draft candidate.
Cavs doctors will get a look at Embiid after the Kansas freshman’s season ended prematurely with a stress fracture in his back. Of the three players under consideration to go No. 1 – Embiid, Duke’s Jabari Parker and Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins – Embiid might have the highest ceiling, yet be the farthest away from reaching it.
He only began taking basketball seriously about three years ago, but his athletic ability, footwork and potential has drawn comparisons to Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.
“Having fun in Cleveland,” Embiid wrote on his Twitter account Tuesday night, along with a picture of a Cavs t-shirt.
Embiid did not attend the NBA’s predraft camp last month in Chicago, which prevented teams the chance to meet with him and look at his medical records. Since his season ended prematurely with the back injury, plenty of questions about his health have loomed since early March.
But Embiid competed in a private workout for NBA personnel late last month in Los Angeles. Three talent evaluators who watched the workout came away impressed. He moved fluidly and showed no ill-effects from the stress fracture, all three agreed, and declared him their top prospect in this draft.
One talent evaluator, who does not work for the Cavs, believed Embiid fits well alongside Cavs bigs like Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett.