Kansas coach Bill Self has always left NBA Draft decisions up to his players, and that is not changing with freshman center Joel Embiid, who has zoomed up draft projections during his first season of college basketball.
“Joel could go anywhere this year from (No. 1 to No. 5) probably, I would say,” Self said Thursday night when the subject came up on his weekly radio show. “It would be hard for a staff member or myself to say, ‘Hey it’s best for you to come back.’ It’s really probably best for us if he comes back.”
As you might expect, Self says it’s too early to know if Embiid will be a one-and-done player, but he expects Embiid, a native of Cameroon, to make the right decision for he and his family. As with any player, Self will wait until after the season to provide any consultation or information on his players’ draft prospects. In addition to Embiid, KU freshman wing Andrew Wiggins has said he’ll likely enter the NBA Draft after one season at Kansas, while freshman guard Wayne Selden has appeared in first-round draft projections as well.
Embiid’s situation is a little different. After moving to the United State before his junior year of high school, he has played organized basketball for just parts of three seasons.
“He is a young man who is very, very young, not just in basketball … he is trying to figure it all out,” Self said. “I talked to him the other day. He said, ‘Well, shouldn’t I learn how to drive a car first?’ He can get a nice car, but he probably can get somebody to drive him so he doesn’t have to worry about that.”
Self added: “I’d say everybody on the outside would say he’s probably definitely going to go because everybody who could go that high goes,” Self said. “But the reality of it is, I don’t feel that way at all. I feel he should do what is best for he and his life.”