Joel Embiid's injury issues have put the Celtics, and maybe some other teams in a hard place. To be honest, I haven't put much stock in the 6th pick, because I want the pick used in the Love trade. I don't want to get attached to the thought of drafting the many young ball players that the Celtics have looked at in the past few weeks. I want the instant gratification of getting an All-Star like Love. I don't want the Celtics to draft a player that could be a bust, or an injured player like Embiid.
But the Celtics are unable to have team doctors examine Embiid as part of the pre-draft process, so Boston will be a bit blind when it comes to his long-term health.
"I think we all want to know exactly what [the injury prognosis] is," Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said after the team hosted another pre-draft workout on Saturday. "But even when you have a lot of information, sometimes it’s still just a best guess. I’m not sure what the conclusions will be by the doctors, and I’m sure, as with Avery Bradley and Jared Sullinger when we drafted them, the medical staff all had different opinions for every team. So it’s hard to predict."
Pressed on how hard the decision might be if Embiid was available with the Celtics on the clock, Ainge smiled and offered, "Quite a gamble. I don’t know. We’ll see."
Ainge admitted that "foot and back -- those are not good body parts to injure," but said the Celtics often weigh the long-term effects of the injury rather than the amount of time the player will miss initially.
The Celtics rolled the dice with Sullinger in the 2012 draft, but that was the 21st pick. And the talent level wasn't great at that point in the draft. But at the 6th pick this year. I would hate to see the Celtics waste it on a player that's injured. Of course players get over injuries, usually at least. So many players are injury prone, so it's scary business drafting a player that's already hurt.
The Celtics have some tough choices. Do they draft Embiid, or do they sweeten the package for Kevin Love. Some other choices could emerge by this Thursday's draft. Embiid could very well be drafted before the 6th pick as well.