Nov. 08, 2016
How Good Will Joel Embiid Be?
Guess what everybody, Joel Embiid finally did it! He managed to play in an NBA game and do well. Not only did he finally make it onto an NBA court for live action for the first time since he was drafted, but he looks like he has a very bright future. Former Philadelphia 76ers GM, Sam Hinkie notoriously decided to have the Sixers tank so they could gain tons of high draft picks. This was known to all sports fans as "The Process." Hinkie would always tell people to "trust the process."
To say that the 76ers were bad is an understatement. They were horrendous from 2013 onwards. It all started when the Sixers traded starting point guard Jrue Holiday for the #6 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Nerlens Noel. Noel has been fine so far in his young career with the Sixers but the Sixers have stunk.
The next year, the Sixers were even worse and they tanked to get the third overall pick in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft. They decided to take Embiid. Embiid was a monster at Kansas with Andrew Wiggins and was supposed to have a ceiling like Hakeem Olajuwon. Embiid has been injured for his entire NBA career up to this point.
The Sixers then stunk even more to get the #3 pick in the loaded 2015 NBA Draft and get the talented Jahlil Okafor out of Duke. The Sixers have an entourage of talented big men in Noel, Embiid, and Okafor. Okafor did well in his rookie year but the Sixers finished with a horrendous record of 10-72. They finally got the #1 pick for the 2016 NBA Draft and took Ben Simmons. Simmons has yet to play because of injury.
This is "The Process." Sam Hinkie tanked so hard that the Sixers got so many lottery picks but the team still stinks. Back to Embiid though. He has always had a super high ceiling but he has never been healthy to play for the team. This year is his rookie year and he looks to be amazing so far. In the preseason, Embiid was not only throwing down vicious dunk after vicious dunk, and he was blocking shots and draining threes. He is a byproduct of "The Process."
As previously mentioned, Embiid played his first NBA game last night and he looked amazing. He scored 20 points, had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. He looks like he will be a dominant player in the NBA for a long time. He has the physical tools, the athleticism, and the talent to be an All-Star in the league.
I think that he will be one of the names thrown out as one of the top young big men in the league. When people will think of great, promising, young big men, the names that they will think of will be Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, Kristaps Porzingis, Jahlil Okafor, and Joel Embiid. Surely, there will be more talent that comes into the league (Harry Giles) but for existing NBA players, Embiid looks to be shockingly good.
While 76ers fans struggled through the painful years of The Process, they have a bright future to look forward to with Embiid and potentially Jahlil Okafor. Embiid will be a star in this league as he has a constant motor, has a great personality, and most importantly, has the skills to be a terrific NBA player.