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Report: Joel Embiid’s physical with Cavaliers showed ‘enough red flags’ that they won’t take him No. 1 overall

Jun 13, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

Joel Embiid Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid was believed to be the likely number one overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, and that was especially true after he looked strong in recent workouts by all accounts.

But given the fact that he was sidelined by a back injury, the medical tests privately conducted by the teams in a high enough position to select him will play a more important role than the workouts will, and at least one team reportedly didn’t like what they saw.

From ESPN Cleveland:

What’s interesting is that this comes just two days after a report out of Milwaukee stated that Cleveland was locked in on Embiid at number one overall.

It’s difficult to take any information like this leaked in advance of the draft as gospel, mainly because teams are trying to position themselves to make the best possible selection. And sometimes, that involves sending misinformation out publicly to see how it plays.

Cleveland can’t afford to to take chances with the top pick this time around, after going against conventional wisdom and selecting Anthony Bennett in that slot last year — a pick that didn’t come close to living up to number one overall status, and likely never will.

Milwaukee is up next should the Cavaliers ultimately pass on Embiid, and they liked him in workouts, as well. If their medical professionals see nothing wrong with Embiid, or even see only a slight risk in selecting him, they are in a much better position to take a chance on a player that could be a legitimate future All-Star if health is not a factor.

  1. jeffkx - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    PLEASE do not take Tony Rizzo’s word on this..his source was literally someone overhearing someone at a restaurant and then telling him..

    • blantoncollier - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Or maybe Rizzo’s bartender, who heard it from someone who heard it from someone.

  2. jammer73 - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    If anyone can fu*k up their draft it’s the Big Mistake By The Lake.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      don’t know what’s up with the thumbs down…

      this will be their 3rd #1 pick in the last 4 drafts and they’re still finishing near the bottom in the standings each year…

      proof is in the pudding…

      in a year or two they’ll try to trade last years #1 pick Bennett for a loaf of bread and some lunch meat but the team will only offer them the bread and not the lunch meat… unless the Cavs will take a can of Spam with the loaf of bread…

      Poor Bennett didn’t deserve his fate… He KNEW he wasn’t worth being the #1 pick and so how did he begin the year last year?

      By missing his first 1,467 field goal attempts…

      Them picking him #1 one freaked him out…

      He’s toast… until he gets somewhere else… He’ll never live up to expectations in Cleveland… but if another team picks him up for a loaf of bread, they won’t have to judge him as harshly… since they didn’t give up anything for him or have any expectations for him…

      Cryrie Irving has a lot of talent, but he’s still a little kid…

      A good piece, a really good one. I’d take him, but he won’t be a true #1 option or “The Man” on a team that wins a title…

  3. mvp43 - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    In other words………. they are picking him.

  4. thesixersbench - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Yeah right. Obvious smoke screen.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 14, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Smoke screen for who? They have the #1 pick, no one picks before them.

  5. lowtalker - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    And if you have the number one pick why engage in smoke screens and misinformation? Just asking. What good does it do to downplay your interest in him? It certainly doesn’t increase his value if you are looking to trade out of the first pick.

    • bucrightoff - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      It’s the Cavs, don’t try and apply logic to the situation.

    • spursareold - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      You could convince a team like Milwaukee or Philly that you’re not interested in Embiid, and are taking either Wiggins or Parker. Philly wants one of them, so they offer you 3 and 10 to move up to 1 and draft a player you don’t want anyway. You pick up an extra top 10 pick, and likely get Embiid anyway.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 14, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        That’d be some slick *stuff but highly unlikely and way too risky. The Cavs can’t afford risk.

      • thesixersbench - Jun 14, 2014 at 9:47 PM


  6. tcclark - Jun 13, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    as long as cleveland or milwaukee takes him I’m fine. Let Wiggins or Parker fall to philly.

  7. mutasian - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    he will drop to number seven pick

  8. adoombray - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    For whatever this is worth, he drops to 8-10 every single time in NBA 2k. I feel like he is this years Nerlens Noel.

  9. floreskins - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Translation: We’re taking him, but we want someone else to think we’re going to take Parker or Wiggins, so they’ll trade up for them

  10. sportsfan18 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    He’ll slip that Cavs jersey on and the weight of the jersey will throw his back out…

    That is what the Factory of Sadness is all about…

  11. captainwisdom8888 - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Us Sixers fans, we absolutely need Joel Embiid to go 1 or 2. As long as we get our hands on either Wiggins or Parker I’ll be happy.

    *If Wiggins and Parker go 1-2, then I think the Sixers just might trade back a few spots with a team looking to secure Embiid at pick 3. One guy that continues to fly under the radar as a bonafide top-5 pick is NOAH VONLEH. If the Sixers grab Vonleh, than a SG at pick 10…we’ll be looking pretty good.

  12. bruiserbrigade - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Good. At least the disgraceful 76ers won’t get a shot at Wiggins. Thanks, but no Tanks.

  13. tcclark - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Rotoworld is reporting that everything went fine and the information was leaked on purpose:

    “It’s being reported that Cleveland’s doctors did indeed clear Joel Embiid, and that the previous report of his physical not going well was leaked on purpose.
    The logic here is that Cleveland leaked a report that Embiid’s physical did not go well in order to deter the Bucks from selecting Embiid at No. 2, if Cleveland decides to swap picks with the 76ers (whom own the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft). There are conflicting reports about the results of Embiid’s physical, but given how well his workouts have been going, it would seem Embiid is closer to healthy than not. It’s worth being said, that all reports leading up to the 2014 draft should be viewed with a bit of skepticism, as it’s difficult to separate fact from smokescreen. Jun. 13 – 5:39 pm et ”

  14. campcouch - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    The good folks in NE Ohio appreciate the concern that everyone else has over the state of their franchise…because them “blundering” their picks should help other teams right? So we should be mad that they let the better players get drafted by someone else…right? Shrug.

  15. ljl2 - Jun 13, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    Rizzo is an idiot. His show barely ever mentions basketball and they have no clue. Has evidence, up until this week he knew nothing of embiid and thought randle should be the #1 pick. He ignores local people like Sam Amico who are actually dialed in and only listens to national ESPN guys with lack of Cavs access. He’s an imbecile.

  16. uscoach - Jun 14, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    The Cavs should do like George Costanza: the exact opposite of what they would normally do

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