NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Ennis In, Embiid Undecided on Draft

Joel Embiid is not sure about his draft decision yet… Tyler Ennis officially declares… Mark Jackson responds to Steph Curry’s vote of confidence.

Yannis Koutroupis profile picture
Updated 12 months ago on
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Joel Embiid Says No Decision Made Yet

via Joel Embiid’s twitter account

Along with that tweet, which was in response to Kansas’ top incoming recruit Cliff Alexander, Embiid also tweeted back to a farewell tweet from teammate Jamari Taylor, “huh????”

So, clearly, Embiid is either playing his cards very close to his vest or he genuinely hasn’t decided yet.

Every team with a chance at the top overall pick, but especially the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks, are going to be eager to find out whether Embiid is in or out. Reports were that he would have been playing this weekend had the Jayhawks advanced, so he should be able to start participating in workouts right away if he does indeed declare. However, as the projected top overall selection, Embiid’s workouts will likely be limited and not before the draft combine in the middle of May.

He struggled with injuries late, but prior to his back and knee trouble Embiid showed a combination of agility, touch, length and explosiveness that makes him one of the most intriguing center prospects to come along in the last several years.

Tyler Ennis Declares

Syracuse freshman guard Tyler Ennis is headed to the NBA, the school said Thursday.

The 6-foot-2 Canadian informed Orange coach Jim Boeheim of his decision Thursday afternoon.

“I’d like to thank Coach Boeheim, the coaching staff, my teammates and the amazing fans for the opportunity to play at a great university like Syracuse,” Ennis said in a statement released by the school. “This experience has helped prepare me to fulfill my lifelong dream to play in the NBA.”

Via ESPN

Ennis came into the season with significantly less hype than most of his classmates, but it wasn’t before long that he became one of the most likely candidates to be one-and-done. He helped guide Syracuse to an undefeated season through February. Although they did not finish as strong as they would have liked to, few point guards in the country were as good as Ennis was this season. He averaged 12.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Most impressive was his assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.22:1.

Look for Ennis to be the third point guard selected in the draft behind Marcus Smart and Dante Exum. He has an uphill battle to contend with them in team’s eyes because they’re so much bigger and athletic, but Ennis is the truest point guard of the group. He shouldn’t slip past the lottery. If he does, it won’t be by much at all.

Jackson Responds to Curry

Mark Jackson also said that he appreciated Stephen Curry’s vote of confidence in response to a Yahoo Sports report on the team’s “increasingly dysfunctional atmosphere” in the wake of assistant coach Brian Scalabrine’s reassignment earlier this week. Curry said he and the rest of the team supported Jackson 100 percent. “Obviously he’s a guy that had an opportunity and a platform to show his loyalty, his support for me,” Jackson said of Curry. “I don’t take it for granted, and it’s not a surprise because he knows how I feel about him.”

Via Diamond Leung of Inside Bay Area

With pressure mounting and outside criticism piling up at a high rate, Jackson needed the vote of confidence that Curry gave him on Wednesday. Still, it’s only going to go so far. Curry has pull within the Golden State Warriors’ organization, his voice means a lot, but it’s still ultimately up to Jackson to prove that he is the right man for the job.

He’s doing a good job of ignoring the fact that his contract does not go beyond next season, downplaying the situation every time he’s asked about it. The likelihood is, though, that Jackson will never see that year without a strong finish this season.

Warriors ownership went out and made a series of aggressive moves both during the summer and at the trade deadline to field the best team possible. Yet, the team hasn’t played up to its potential. Whether he’s solely to blame or not, Jackson will be the scapegoat if they don’t make some major noise in the playoffs. There are a lot of quality head coaches out on the market without a job right now and without any long-term attachment to Jackson, upgrading at his position is the simplest way to implement impactful change.

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Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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