NBA Draft: Alex Len Or Joel Embiid?
Who's the better prospect and who would u draft between Len or Embiid? Who has more potential? Where do u see there ceilings? Len seems to have more offensive potential while Embiid will probably have him beat defensively.
Really tough to compare, given they are in very stages of development and are very different style players. Len is known for having a high skill level in the post and shooting the ball, but was unable to effectively showcase either of those skills in college. He has bad hands, very poor core strength and balance, and not much touch around the rim, leading him to be a very ineffective college post player.
Len possesses average athleticism for an NBA center and has solid footwork and shooting form, which is where the hype must come from. He was a bad defender in college, but he is 7'1", did block a fair number of shots and put up average rebounding numbers, so he is viewed as having potential on that end. His play against Kentucky and Duke last season likely caused his surge up draft boards.
Len's struggles to be an effective college player despite his reputedly high skill level may be due, if one is to be forgiving, due to his injury issues. He played part of last season with a stress fracture in his foot and his injury issues have resurfaced early in his NBA career. This may explain, but probably doesn't, why his motor often appeared to be so poor and he didn't run the floor consistently.
Joel Embiid has vastly more potential, due to his far superior physical tools and a feel for the game that appears, at least from what he has shown so far, that is far more advanced considering his age and experience playing the game. Embiid's defensive ability appears to be already superior to Len's, despite Len's considerable more experience playing the game, and Embiid's motor is almost certainly not as bad as Len's. Embiid's offense is basically a work in progress, but in the long run, it should become superior to Len's, due to Embiid's tremendous body control and coordination for a big man and Bill Self's coaching.
Len is certainly the better player right now, as he is an NBA player, not a guy who just started NCAA ball, but Embiid's long term potential blows Len's out of the water. I have made no secret of the fact that I believe Len is a severely overrated prospect and I suspect his hype comes more from fan's desperation for a low post center than from his own talent. He is the type of player who looks good in highlight reels, like the extremely optimistic one Mike Schmidt made for him, but who soes not look nearly as good over the course of the whole game. Embiid is raw as well, but he has legitimate excuses for his lack of polish, and has a far superior baseline of skill, physical tools, and on-court mentality.
Your assessment would be so much better and more authentic had you not greatly exaggerated Lens shortcomings. He has good hands, is a 7 foot athlete who has the ability to impact both sides of the court.
With that said Im not even sure if Len is better then Embiid right now.
When I watched Maryland, he seemed quite prone to getting stripped in traffic and he didn't consistently corral rebounds that he got his hands on. He isn't a stiff and has solid coordination, but doesn't have great physical strength and seems to lack a strong grip, perhaps explaining his mediocre rebounding numbers in college despite his height.
I understand that my assessment of Len is not shared by many on this board, but I feel that many people overlook his weaknesses because of his perceived potential. Despite being older and more advanced skill-wise than Noel last season in college basketball, Len was a less effective college player in almost ever aspect of the game. Noel was even substantially more effective by the numbers in the post. And Len still managed to convince people that he was more NBA-ready than Noel.
If Len played for a major program and had his weaknesses exposed on national television, he likely would not receive the hype he did. He is purely a project big. While he may have had the ability "to impact both sides of the court" in college, he only occasionally did, getting beat by dribble penetration while hedging screens, getting posted up by smaller opposing centers, rebounding mediocrely, and being generally inefficient on offense, relying way too much on his back to the basket game.
If Len develops a motor that is even average by NBA standards and improves his strength, he could surprise me, but I fear his post game will not pan out in the NBA, rendering him a pick-and-pop threat in the Jason Smith mold.
Tough call. I'd say Embiid now because he has a little more upside. Plus did anyone see he had five assists the other night against Duke? He looks like he has a pretty good feel for the game after just a few years. Len's offensive moves make him tempting though.
I would take Embiid. A big man with foot/ankle problems is never a good thing.
Embiid, check the footwork. IT'S GOTTA BE THE SHOES!!!!!