Jeff Goodman on MFB: ‘I don’t know if Boston takes [Joel Embiid] if he slips to No. 6′
|06.20.14 at 2:20 pm ET|
ESPN basketball reporter Jeff Goodman joined Middays with MFB to talk about the NBA draft. To hear the interview, go to the MFB udio on demand page.
Goodman reported Thursday that Kansas center Joel Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his foot, an injury that could drop him from the top three to anywhere in the top 10 in next Thursday’s draft. Embiid could be available to the Celtics at No. 6, but Goodman said he wouldn’t be surprised if the C’s passed him up.
“I don’t know if Boston takes him if he slips to No. 6,” Goodman said. “He’s got the back issues, which is a concern, and now he’s got the foot issue that could put him on the shelf for the entire season this year. It would be tough for teams to take a shot on him because frankly if you’re a GM and you do that you get crucified if this guy isn’t able to play and be healthy throughout the early part of his NBA career.”
Added Goodman: “This is a big guy who weighed in at 270 pounds last I was told at a workout. A foot injury is significant. Listen, Yao Ming‘s career ended with a foot injury, a similar injury, and big guys are troublesome. In conjunction with the back issues, which is something that’s going to need to be certainly watched throughout his career, I just think it’s too much in a draft that is pretty good at the top.”
Goodman said if he were Celtics general manager Danny Ainge he would not take his chances with Embiid given his injury risk and the strength of the draft.
“If No. 6 were last year I would probably do it,” Goodman said. “No. 6 this year is going to be a good player. Not a franchise player, but if you evaluate correctly, the No. 6 pick could be a good No. 2 guy on your team. I think you take that and run with it if you’re confident in that player.”
While the Celtics‘ preference appears to be to trade their No. 6 pick in order to acquire Kevin Love, Goodman said he thinks the Celtics will draft either Julius Randle, who he said draws comparisons to Zach Randolph, Noah Vonleh, Aaron Gordon, who he compared to Shawn Marion and Kawhi Leonard, or Marcus Smart, who he said could open up the possibility of the Celtics trading Rajon Rondo.
“Nobody wants Plan B because Plan A worked last time around with trading for Ray Allen and then getting [Kevin Garnett] and then you win a title,” Goodman said. “But the stars aligned with that one. I’m not sure they’re going to align with Kevin Love. I think he’s more likely to go west than east. He’s a Portland, Oregon, native; he likes LA; he wants to go to a team that can compete right away for the playoffs, which I think the Celtics are still a ways away from that.”
Goodman said the Celtics are more likely to draft a wing player at No. 17.
“I like T.J. Warren, I like P.J. Hairston, who’s a great great shooter,” Goodman said. “There’ll be wings there. That’s where you want to take a wing is at 17.”