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Bucks scouting director sees no issue with Joel Embiid’s back, Cavaliers to get their own look

May 29, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

Kansas v Texas Kansas v Texas

Bill Simmons thinks Joel Embiid’s back is fine. A couple anonymous scouts think Embiid’s back is fine. Embiid says his back is fine.

But Simmons doesn’t hold a top pick in the draft. The scouts don’t necessarily hold a top pick in the draft. And Embiid doesn’t hold a top pick in the draft.

So, their opinions matter only so much.

Billy McKinney’s carries a little more weight. He’s the director of scouting for the Bucks, who have the No. 2 pick.

Andrew Gruman of FOX Sports Wisconsin:

You know what’s cooler than going No. 2? Going No. 1.

That’s why Embiid will grant Cleveland a physical.

Andy Katz of ESPN:

The Cavaliers will visit with former Kansas center Joel Embiid sometime in the coming weeks and conduct a physical, a source told ESPN.

Embiid won’t visit another team until the Cavaliers are given a chance to determine if they will select Embiid with the top pick in the NBA draft on June 26.

Embiid looking good in physical is an important step given how his freshman year at Kansas ended. He needed to overcome his injury in the short term.

More importantly: How much more likely is Embiid to suffer another back injury than other players? That’s the question teams considering drafting him must answer. They don’t want him for the present as much as the future.

More in-depth medical tests, like Cleveland is conducting, will help answer. But it’s still an inexact science, and Embiid’s back should continue to be a topic of discussion for the Cavaliers, Bucks, 76ers, Magic or any other team near the top of the draft – no matter how good Embiid looks in workouts.

  1. harshedmellow - May 29, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    The Big Conundrum.

  2. kb2408 - May 29, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    For Cleveland’s sake, if they draft him, he better be more “Hakeem” as in the Dream, than “Hasheem” as in Thabeet.

    • bougin89 - May 29, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      His athleticism alone will already make him much more valuable than Thabeet. That and he’s already looks to be much more skilled.

      Thabeet was taken so high because it was a gamble that he could become good while being 7’3. Well that didn’t work out, at all.

      • kb2408 - May 29, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        I agree. I think he’s going to be really good.

  3. sportsfan18 - May 29, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Where did the Bucks scouting director get his medical degree from?

  4. granadafan - May 29, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Versatile forwards and guards dominate this league, not centers.

    • kb2408 - May 29, 2014 at 8:40 PM

      That’s just not true. Build the right team around a great center/power forward (Tim Duncan, Shaq) and that team will beat any team built around a guard, or small forward, in the league. Duncan and Shaq were the focal point of teams that won 7 titles combined ( I don’t count the one Shaq won in Miami, Wade was the focal point).

      • tomasekradek - May 30, 2014 at 4:24 AM

        refs were the focal point

  5. pukpokito - May 30, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    If you’re the Cavs, take Wiggins. You messed up last year. You can’t possibly not think about that this year.Also, you already had experience with the serviceable Varejao. SO good and always injured.Not his fault but it is hard to draft another player who might follow the same pattern.Let Milwaukee draft Embiid.Their investment Sanders needs him and the Bucks need to help Sanders so they could get their investment on his contract back.
    But it is a nice problem to have for the Cavs and Bucks. Imagine being stuck not knowing who to draft.special.haha.

  6. milkcan44 - Jun 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    After history with Bogut’s back, my bet is Bucks would hesitate on Embiid, even if they are enamored of his size. My guess is Parker.

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