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Why Joel Embiid is denying he’s declared for the NBA draft

Mar 27, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

Joel Embiid

Adrian Wojnarowski, a credible journalist, reported earlier today Joel Embiid would declare for the NBA draft.

On Twitter, Embiid is telling a different story:

There are two possibilities:

1. Embiid truly hasn’t made up his mind, and Wojnarowski’s report is wrong.

2. Embiid has made up his mind but is protecting himself.

In an effort to aid millionaire coaches at the expense of the athletes the organization feigns to protect, the NCAA has instituted an earlier deadline to withdraw for the draft than the NBA has in place.

Underclassmen must withdraw from the draft before April 16 to remain eligible for the NCAA. But if they never declare in the first place, they can always turn pro before the NBA deadline of April 27 – because if players decide to go pro between April 16 and April 27, they don’t need to preserve their NCAA eligibility anyway.

For someone like Embiid, whose back injury plays a key factor in his draft stock, the buffer period could be essential. In case his injury worsens and he wants to return to Kansas, he’d give himself more leeway by waiting to officially declare.

Embiid might not, and probably won’t stretch the decision all the way to April 27. If he hires an agent, who can guide him through this process and/or front him money, Embiid would no longer be eligible for college basketball.

But until he hires an agent, why officially declare?

  1. davidly - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Whether he has made his decision or not, I think it is in poor taste to report that he has. Just wait for the official declaration. I mean, come on.

    College players are treated like chattel, with so many who begrudge them compensation for enriching NCAA brass. It’s high time the NBA started doing what baseball of hockey do. Then Wojnarowski’s kind of reporting wouldn’t seem so crass.

  2. Professor Fate - Mar 27, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Smart move by Embiid.

  3. vols84 - Mar 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    I’m sure the same handler who shut him down for the season is advising him to deny. He’s gone. Book it.

  4. 00maltliquor - Mar 28, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Just make the leap already! Stop pretending like it’s a hard decision!

  5. thewalkoffktxt - Mar 28, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    He’s gone. Don’t hold your breath. One-and-done era does this to ya.

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