The Philadelphia 76ers are concerned about Joel Embiid’s work ethic and conditioning, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Sixers drafted Embiid with the No. 3 pick in June knowing that he had a foot injury that would likely keep him sidelined for the entire 2014-15 season. The seven-foot-tall center has yet to play in a game or participate in a full practice.
According to Pompey, his rehab has been bumpy. Pompey reports that he has “blown off” conditioning drills and now weighs nearly 300 pounds:
Because of the foot injury, his conditioning has been limited. Embiid can only do things such as use the antigravity treadmill and take long walks to generate a rapid heart rate. In the process, he has become noticeably heavier than the chiseled 250 pounds he carried in college.
The Sixers are trying to address the added weight. Embiid, however, hasn’t always been a willing workout participant, according to sources. He’s even blown off conditioning drills, one source added.
Pompey adds that Embiid was sent home from a recent road trip because he had a “blowup” with the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
Embiid, a 20-year-old from Cameroon, told CSN Philly in September that his weight has fluctuated since he graduated from Kansas.
“When I left Kansas I weighed 230 pounds,” he told CSN’s Dei Lynam. “When I got hurt (in a predraft workout) I was 280 pounds. I gained 50 pounds in three months. At Kansas, I wanted to play at 250. I wanted to be strong and not get pushed around. Right now I am at 270, so I have lost 10 pounds.”
Here’s what he looked like at Kansas:
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
And here’s a recent photo from beat writer Tom Moore: