Self: Embiid's back 'perfect,' Wiggins 'best athlete'

Self: Embiid's back 'perfect,' Wiggins 'best athlete'
June 11, 2014, 5:45 pm
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Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins (right) are likely to be among the top three players taken in this month's NBA draft. (AP Images)

Kansas has two of the expected top-three picks in this year's NBA draft in Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins.

But that doesn't mean the two prospects don't have question marks.

For Embiid, it's his back. The 7-foot center missed Kansas' final six games of the season -- which included the team's exit in the NCAA tournament -- because of a bad back.

"Joel Embiid's back -- it'll check out to be perfect," Kansas coach Bill Self said in a phone interview with Comcast SportsNet's Neil Hartman. "It'll check out to be fine. His back has been checked out. No surgery or nothing like that required, just rehab. He was just symptoms away from playing the next week in the NCAA tournament, so I would bet doctors would say he's 100 percent."

For Wiggins, the 6-foot-8 guard didn't explode onto the college scene like many predicted. He averaged 17.1 points per game in his only season with the Jayhawks, but went off when Embiid went down, scoring 41 points against West Virginia and 30 against Oklahoma State late in the year.

"This guy's been picked apart so much," Self said. "The bottom line is the kid's the best athlete in the draft, he's going to be a phenomenal player, he's got an unbelievable basketball body that's going to get stronger three or four years from now as he matures physically -- I mean the kid should have been a high school senior last year. He's going to be off the charts."

Self said he's talked with the Cavaliers, Bucks, Sixers and other teams about his two stars.

"I've been asked a lot of questions about these two (Wiggins, Embiid), and to be quite honest, I don't really have negatives," Self said. "They both need to get more mature, they both need to get stronger, there's no question about that. Both can understand the game better and that kind of stuff, but from a raw, talent and athletic standpoint, these two kids are really gifted."

Kansas has had its fair share of NBA talent over the past 15 years, but nothing like Embiid and Wiggins, according to Self.

"We haven't had any of them that are prospects like these two," Self said. "These two are by far the most superior prospects. Thomas Robinson went high, Ben McLemore went high, and we've had numerous lottery picks: Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry, Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, those guys. And at Illinois, we had Deron Williams. The thing about it is, we haven't had guys that have been thought of to be the elite of the elite in those respective classes. They've gone on to be solid pros, but not All-Star-type pros. So these would be the two that we've had in our program that I really feel like have a chance to be a many-time All-Star, the both of them."

Can you say who's a better fit?

"I look at these NBA teams and this is no disrespect to the Sixers, but they need good players -- period," Self said. "You could say the same thing about the other two teams that are picking ahead of them because obviously you're in the lottery, so you've got to get better guys. Both these guys will make all three of the franchises better. Who's a better fit? I think that's impossible for me to tell."