Daniels: Joel Embiid IS "The Process"

Antonio Daniels explained why most lottery teams couldn't afford to roll the dice on Michael Porter Jr.

Tiki and Tierney
June 22, 2018 - 5:15 pm

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Michael Porter Jr. entered his freshman season at Missouri as a potential No. 1 pick. He left as a major risk, this after being limited to just three games with a back injury.

In the end, Porter fell to 14th in the NBA Draft on Thursday, with the Denver Nuggets rolling the dice on the 6-11 power forward.

NBA analyst Antonio Daniels wasn’t surprised that Porter, 19, fell that far.

“Anytime you have a significant injury like that, that’s going to bring worry,” Daniels said on Tiki and Tierney. “When you talk about a back, that’s going to bring worry. Rumor out was that whoever drafted Michael Porter was probably going to use the year as a redshirt year. Some teams can’t afford a redshirt year. You’re in the lottery for a reason – because you’re not a very good basketball team more often than not. There are some teams that are in the lottery every year, so if you’re in the lottery every season, you can’t afford to draft a guy really high and then sit him out and keep your team pat as it was last year. You can’t afford it.”

Instead, Porter goes to Denver, which finished a respectable 46-36 last season. 

Still, why couldn’t a lesser team take a chance on Porter? Philadelphia has “redshirted” prospects for years and just finished 52-30.

“The only reason that worked out in Philly is Joel Embiid,” Daniels argued. “Jahlil Okafor didn’t pan out. Nerlens Noel didn’t pan out. Joel Embiid is The Process. He is The Process. The whole situation in Philly is going to go as he goes.”

Okafor averaged 21.4 points, 12.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks this past postseason, while Simmons averaged 16.3 points, 9.4 rebounds and 7.7 assists. Together, they led the Sixers to the second round.

“Ben Simmons is really good,” Daniels said. “That’s not to take anything away from Ben Simmons, his talent level or his skill set. He is really good. But the whole Philly ‘Trust The Process’ is the whole Philly ‘Trust Joel Embiid’ – because there were guys before him that didn’t pan out. If Joel Embiid didn’t pan out, Philly’s not in this situation.”