Greg Anthony Says Joel Embiid Should Stay in School

NEW YORK — Joel Embiid is projected by many to be the top pick in the NBA Draft, but NBA analyst Greg Anthony believes the Kansas freshman should spend at least one more year on campus.

“The guy I would hope wouldn’t come out would be Embiid because I don’t think he’s ready, I don’t think he’s polished enough,” Anthony told SNY.tv Thursday night at Madison Square Garden where he was doing the Cavaliers-Knicks game.

“[His] instincts aren’t where you want them to be. At this level, they don’t teach, they coach.”

Both Chad Ford and DraftExpress.com have the 7-foot Embiid projected as the No. 1 pick — with both having his Kansas teammate Andrew Wiggins at No. 2 — meaning it would be very hard for Embiid to stay in school.

Sources close to the Kansas program believe that Embiid himself may prefer to stay in school, but the opportunity may be too great for him to pass up (which, in turn, could open things up for Myles Turner to pick Kansas).

But Anthony disagrees.

“There’s a lot of guys who would’ve been the No. 1 pick [who stayed],” the former Knick point guard said. “I played with a guy [Larry Johnson] who would’ve been the No. 1 pick as a junior, he didn’t come out. You don’t have to because what I tell a lot of these young kids is, this is not for your first contract, this is for your second and your third.

“Our league drafts potential, it doesn’t draft a polished, finished product. I think a lot of these kids are really, really good and really talented but a lot of them could use another year.”

Anthony said the same logic applies to fellow freshmen studs Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon.

“I would say that Jabari’s probably the most polished of all of them,” Anthony said. “And listen, it’s gonna be hard for them not to come out, I get that part. But it wouldn’t hurt any of them to come back to school.

“And listen, I’m a proponent of guys being able to come out of high school. I think these kids are more talented than the draft we had a year ago, but you want them to be a little bit more polished when they come here.

“You look at [Anthony] Bennett, you look at [Ben] McLemore, they weren’t all necessarily ready. Michael Carter-Williams had two years and didn’t play his freshman year. It’s not that some guys aren’t ready, it’s that some guys just need more time to refine their game to be ready to make an impact because remember all those guys are going to be going to teams that basically aren’t that good and they’re going to be expected to produce right away.”

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim previously told SNY.tv that none of these freshmen are “transcendent” players the way LeBron James and Tim Duncan were, and Anthony agreed.

“In that respect, I don’t think the draft is as good as a lot of people are saying,” he said. “Look how good Kyrie Irving is, how many more games are they winning? And ultimately, that’s what you base it on is, can you come in and make my team better? Can we win because of you and that’s how I view it.”

Some teams, like the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, appear to be tanking and have two first-round picks, but Anthony said even multiple picks won’t transform those teams by themselves.

“Trust me, they can get three first-round picks next year, those kids aren’t going to come in and make that kind of a difference,” Anthony said. “Michael Carter-Williams is having a great year, how good is Philly?

“To Coach Boeheim’s point, those kids are not transcendent talents. You can come in and have statistics, but you’re not necessarily going to have an impact in determining who wins and who loses.”

**For more stories on Andrew Wiggins, click here.

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74 comments
CJ_Owens2
CJ_Owens2

@AdamZagoria Steven Adams was coming back until a week before the deadline. Non-Story at this point of season, unless it is for page views.

marcisenberg
marcisenberg

@SethDavisHoops Actually, you and Anthony are absolutely wrong, at least historically. But I understand your job is to have an opinion.

AfrocentricAsian
AfrocentricAsian

Was Carmelo ready? He's a exceptional talent but none of the teams he has been on in the pros has won anything of importance. 

pjmatz6
pjmatz6

@SethDavisHoops Completely disagree. Embiid has 3 years before a contract ext. If you're the team w/ the No1 pick, onus is to develop him.

trabryant5
trabryant5

@GregAnthony50 if they really want a return on there investment. Instead of giving up on kids so early.

trabryant5
trabryant5

@GregAnthony50 to say they don't teach they coach at this level. Is disturbing, why don't these teams invest in quality player development?

GoodmanESPN
GoodmanESPN

@GregAnthony50 Hard to stay in school if have chance to go No. 1, though. Especially whereas kid anonymous a year or so ago.

GregAnthony50
GregAnthony50

@GoodmanESPN Very difficult, I get that...but if ur goal is to have a long productive career ur best chance is to be ready day 1

BenJ1133
BenJ1133

@EvanDaniels Agreed. Smart is MUCH closer to his ceiling though now than Embiid is. Will not hurt him to return skill wise.

tsnmike
tsnmike

@geoff_mckay It doesn't prove a point. The person who plays like Van Halen is better than three-chord guy in a punk band. Comes with study.

geoff_mckay
geoff_mckay

@tsnmike How many guitarists on Rolling Stone's top 100 have college music degrees?

geoff_mckay
geoff_mckay

@tsnmike And he didn't need to study guitar at a lower level to reach the heights he did..

tsnmike
tsnmike

@geoff_mckay Counter-intuitive. I could study guitar 30 years and not be what Eddie Van Halen was in one. Bet he was better after 5, tho.

tsnmike
tsnmike

@marcisenberg: NBA game evolved. More emphasis on perimeter play bc dearth of franchise C.” Yes, but pushing into league big reason why.

tsnmike
tsnmike

@marcisenberg: NBA game has evolved. More emphasis on perimeter play in part bc dearth of franchise centers.” Indeed. One reason why.

JCFSports
JCFSports

@GregAnthony50 I just don't buy the idea that guys develop faster in college than the NBA. Less time for ball, lesser competition, diff game

JCFSports
JCFSports

@GregAnthony50 Well if you're not good in 4 yrs then you're probably a bust & the GM should be fired. You think JE won't be good in 3-4 yrs?

GregAnthony50
GregAnthony50

@JCFSports Missing my point GM/coach that drafts you won't be there in 3-4 yrs if ur not improving enough the new GM/Coach will start over

JCFSports
JCFSports

@GregAnthony50 Good teams are about winning right away & he's not going to be drafted by 1 of them. U think the Bucks can't wait 3-4 yrs?

JCFSports
JCFSports

@GregAnthony50 I don't see how 1 more year of college makes the difference for him. He can get more practice time & more coaching in the NBA

GregAnthony50
GregAnthony50

@JCFSports Very good chance that if ur not the GM that drafted you won't be there 3-4 years from now then what? The pros are about winning!

GregAnthony50
GregAnthony50

@JCFSports It's not a waste if you become a better player! When you get to the league you want to have the best chance to make an impact

GregAnthony50
GregAnthony50

@GoodmanESPN Some are ready after 1 year some after 2 and some are never ready...Sometimes ur ready physically but not mentally

NickRolando16
NickRolando16

@GoodmanESPN Appreciate the feedback. Zero chance of them making tourney this year how does next years team look?