Joel Embiid Likely to Miss Season After Foot Surgery
Philadelphia 76ers probably weren’t crossing their fingers that Philly would be making a run at the 2015-16 NBA Finals, but whatever chance they did have is probably gone now.
Per reports, big man Joel Embiid is expected to miss his second NBA season in a row due to yet another foot issue. Embiid was taken early in last year’s draft despite back issues and it quickly became apparent early on after the draft that a foot issue would rob him of his rookie season.
Year two may be gone before it arrived, as well. The Sixers appear to be opting to play it safe with their prized big man, as Embiid will underdgo a second surgery on his troublesome foot. Per the Philadelphia Inquirer, Embiid is then expected to sit out the entire 2015-16 NBA season to get all the way back to 100% and then try to make his pro debut during the 2016-17 season.
In short, it’s looking like the investment in the former Kansas star was a failed one and the franchise may start to consider avenues to separate ties with Embiid. At full strength, Embiid is still a physical force in the paint and could end up being a dominant two-way player. As it stands, however, he’s nothing but a major liability that the 76ers have yet to see any return from.
The good news is that 2015 first round pick Jahlil Okafor is looking like a wise investment, a the Duke star is set to take over as the starting center. Embiid’s would-be role is now spoken for, as the offensively gifted Okafor will step in next to power forward Nerlens Noel and try to help the Sixers improve.
How much the Sixers can improve with one of their failed picks yet again not hitting the floor is up for debate, as they remain quite young and inexperienced throughout the roster. Philly did make some slashed (traded for Kings shooting guard Nik Stauskas), but they’re unlikely to change their preseason title odds (250/1) by much.
Needless to say, the Sixers are the last team favored to win it all going into next season, and if we’re to take anything away from the oddsmakers, they’re the worst bet around. Embiid staying on the shelf for the second year in a row only makes the case against the Sixers stronger.
*photo from hoops-nation.com
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