Sixers 2015-16 Player Evaluation: Joel Embiid

Over the next couple of weeks we will evaluate the Sixers' roster following the 10-72 season. Next up is Joel Embiid.

Position: Center
Status: Under contract for 2016-17 at $4.82 million.

Signature game
Uh, yeah. About that …

Embiid had another season cut down before it ever got going. After missing the 2014-15 campaign with a broken navicular bone in his right foot, he was forced to undergo another surgery last summer when it was discovered that the injury was not healing correctly.

That meant yet another season spent on the sidelines in street clothes for the former No. 3 overall pick.

Embiid in 2015-16
That's not to say Embiid didn't accomplish anything during his second consecutive year out of commission.

Following the initial recovery time for the second procedure on his foot, Embiid returned to the Sixers' facilities with a commitment to the rehab process that wasn't always on display during his first year with the team.

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He met with renowned doctors from across the country and even took his rehab international with two visits to Qatar. He worked out there at Aspetar, a leading orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital.

All the while, the seven-foot, 250-pound big man had eyes on expanding his game.

In his first full year of rehab, Embiid appeared to focus on athleticism when he returned to on-court work. He would dunk over and over and over, which is understandable for a 22-year-old who had his basketball mortality questioned so early on in his career.

However, this time around Embiid could mostly be found outside of the paint. He was frequently seen at PCOM and before games at the Wells Fargo Center working on his jump shot, which even extended as far back as the three-point line.

Despite all of the positive strides Embiid made during the past season, we're not going to pretend things will be all rosy in the future for someone who hasn't played in a live game since March 1, 2014, while at Kansas.

The bottom line is big men and foot injuries just don't mix.

With that said, the main goal for next season has to be just getting Embiid on the floor in game action. A big reason the Sixers' rebuild has stalled is because they don't have anything to show from 2014 first-rounders Embiid and Dario Saric.

If Embiid gets out there and disaster strikes again, well, that was always the risk of drafting an injured player.

But if he is somehow able to play and get anywhere close to what he was projected to be coming out of college, the Sixers will say it was all worth it in the end.

On Joel Embiid
"We're obviously excited about him and have always been excited about him because he has rare gifts and he has a real chance to have a fantastic NBA career. That's obviously been delayed due to his injury, but he's doing great." - Sam Hinkie

"He's come back from the Middle East where he could be in an amazing situation where he could speak French. He could be in an environment that he tells me reminded him of Cameroon, that is beyond highly professional around fellow athletes, that the days were very rigid, very monitored, very disciplined. No BS. This is your road map or you're not welcome here type of atmosphere - boot camp-ish." - Brett Brown

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