NBA Draft: Should Lakers take Joel Embiid if available?

The Lakers are sitting at the poker table with very few chips in their hand, yet with plenty to lose.

They are coming off the worst season in L.A. franchise history. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash will become Hall of Famers, but they may not stay fully healthy next season. The Lakers have a fairly significant amount of financial flexibility stemmed from only three players signed for next season. But they still hope to cling to one-year deals for role players to maximize their purchasing power for high-level players perhaps beyond this offseason. So as of now, the Lakers’ seventh overall draft pick marks their lone asset that assures them of securing a young player that could help their long-term future.

So that leads to this question. Should the Lakers gamble on selecting Kansas center Joel Embiid assuming he is available for the seventh pick of the 2014 NBA Draft? Such a concept would have been unthinkable. Embiid was considered by many to be selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. But with revelations that Embiid will need surgery to treat a stress fracture in his right foot, his stock will inevitably drop.

So should the Lakers take Embiid, knowing his upside has drawn comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon? Or should the Lakers avoid him, cognizant of the recent well intentioned gamble on Nash blowing up in their face? Of course, this decision would largely depend on the progress Embiid made and if his injury relates to his previously injured back. But that will only minimize the risk, not eliminate it.

So what should the Lakers do? Vote in the poll below and express your thoughts in the comments section explaining why.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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  • FredJ

    The Lakers need to work with Philadelphia, they may be able to get a 2-for-1 …Philly is trying to get three lottery picks. The Lakers should trade their No. 7 pick for Thad young and one of their youngsters they don’t need with three lottery picks like Nerlens Noel or Michael Carter Williams.