Similar to previous years, Joel Embiid may not be able to last the whole 82-game regular season grind. As initially reported, the third overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft has yet to get clearance to participate in five-on-five drills. Apparently, he is not yet 100-percent and the Philadelphia 76ers are taking the cautious approach.

Embiid’s health has been questionable since he entered the NBA. Prior to the actual draft in 2014, there were already red flags that the 23-year-old was damaged goods. This was seen as the reason why he slipped in the drafting order, with most teams apprehensive about his durability.

Sixers gamble not paying off

The Philadelphia 76ers took a chance on Embiid and somehow it showed glimpses of promise. The Cameroonian saw some action last season, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.

The talent is undoubtedly there though Embiid’s game may not be suited for an entire NBA season. The Sixers could resort to managing his minutes though there is no promise that the former University of Kansas standout will remain healthy for an entire NBA campaign.

How long will the Sixers wait?

Embiid is under contract until 2019 before he becomes a restricted free agent. The Sixers exercised the club option, probably the Cameroonian’s last hurrah. If he continues to play at this frequency, Philly may as well admit the fact that they won’t get much mileage from the 23-year-old moving forward.

There is no question that Embiid has potential. But unless he finds a way to stay healthy and help the Sixers campaign, Philly may best turn to some of their other young guys to man the paint.

Okafor in waiting

The Sixers found themselves with a phalanx of big men last season. Aside from Embiid, there was Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel.

Both were in the trade rumor mill with Noel the only one shipped (to the Dallas Mavericks).

Okafor remains on the Sixers roster despite all the trade talk. Several teams have been linked but nothing has come close to materializing. With Embiid’s durability questionable, head coach Brett Brown may eventually turn to third overall pick of the 2015 Nba Draft to step up, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Right now, Okafor is competing for the backup center position against Richaun Holmes and Amir Johnson. But all this was before Embiid’s health status was brought up. Hence, the 21-year-old may get more chances and playing time this coming NBA season.

Okafor’s career has so far been hampered by inconsistency and off-court distractions. All that toned down last season and all the former Duke standout has to do is focus and improve his game.

His offense has been effective though in need of polishing. His defense needs plenty of improvement, a deficiency singled out before the 2015 NBA Draft.