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Joel Embiid: Should the Sixers be concerned?

Joel Embiid is a very important piece in the Sixers' future plans.Getty Images

Joel Embiid was listed at 250 pounds when the 76ers selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

As recently as five days ago, rumors swirled that Embiid’s weight had escalated to 300 pounds.

Not long after the report surfaced in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Embiid denied the weight issue to CSNPhilly.com. But Embiid never did say what he weighed.

This is a murky issue for the Sixers.

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Embiid is unlikely to play at all this season while recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot.

If Embiid was healthy, he surely would have been the No. 1 overall pick.That’s what the Sixers are expecting with the 2015-16 season rolls around.

The Inquirer noted that Embiid clashed with Sixers assistant strength and conditioning coach James Davis and recently sat out some conditioning drills.That’s not what the Sixers were expecting.

It’s already been an extremely difficult season with eight wins and 34 losses, including a seven-point setback to the lowly New York Knicks Wednesday night.

Since Embiid isn’t granting interviews, there is still quite a bit of gray area with this story. And there are usually three sides to every story as it is.

Embiid is the Sixers’ future. He’s the piece who could help turn them around.

Imagine Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Dario Saric in two to three years. If all three players continue to progress and improve, this has the chance to be a solid frontline for the next decade. But it can collapse just that quickly without Embiid in the middle.He’s the key.

The 7-footer averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds to go along with 72 blocked shots on his way to becoming the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman at Kansas.

Embiid’s ability went way beyond the statistics.

In just his fourth season of playing organized basketball, he showed incredible instincts and footwork. He would have the uncanny knack of blocking shots without drawing fouls. He would know how to alter shots.

Embiid grew up playing soccer and volleyball. Basketball came much later.The Sixers saw enough to take a chance.

“I think he'll fit great,” Kansas coach Bill Self told reporters at the draft. “They already have another big guy in Nerlens Noel who hasn't played yet because of injury. I guarantee when they're both healthy, it won't be easy to score near the basket.”

True.But the work started before the season and continues now. It will keep moving through April and into the summer.

Embiid is undeniably the key to the future here.

He needs to keep working and have positive reports come out of his camp. What’s happening now is not good for anyone.

 
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