Joel Embiid already is on a path to becoming an All-Star. He's not alone in the young group of emerging centers with the potential to reach that caliber.
Embiid sees a bright future for the center position in the NBA. He would be in favor of changing the All-Star voting to reflect that.
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"You've got KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns), you've got Myles Turner, you've got Kristaps (Porzingis), so a lot of young guys, a lot of dominant big men, Andre Drummond. I'm hoping they bring back the center position for All-Star," Embiid said after battling Hassan Whiteside in the Sixers win over the Heat. "Around the league, there's a lot of young big men and I think we're starting a comeback."
The NBA removed the center position from the ballot in October of 2012. The league changed the voting criteria from two forwards and one center to three frontcourt players.
"It made sense to our Competition Committee," former VP of basketball operations Stu Jackson said at the time.
"Having a center is the only specific position that was singled out on the ballot. It just seemed a little outdated and didn't represent the way our game has evolved. By the same token, it also affords the same opportunity, if you have two good centers in a given year, pick 'em both. They both can be selected. Which is impossible right now."
In a league where many teams are trending toward small ball, Embiid believes the five-man is imperative to success.
"First of all, defensively, without a big man I think you can't be a good defensive team," he said. "I think the big man is the main piece. Offensively, getting rebounds, and when you've got a big man that can score down low and do everything else is always good for the team."
Embiid is having a standout rookie season, averaging 18.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in his first 10 games, all while being restricted to 24 minutes.
On Monday, Whiteside scored a career-high 32 points along with 13 rebounds in the Heat's loss to the Sixers.
"I told him, ‘Keep killing it,'" Embiid said. "As big men, we all want each other to do good. I've always thought, even in the past, it's always been a big man league. I want it to stay like that."