Joel Embidd will not play in the World Cup starting next month, prioritizing resting his body after an MVP season and getting married this summer.
That puts off one big question: Will Embiid play for France or the United States next summer at the Paris Olympics?
Grant Hill, managing director of the USA's men's national team, said he has pitched Embiid during an interview on SiriusXM Radio with Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson.
Will Joel Embiid play in the 2024 Olympics for Team USA?@TermineRadio & @JumpShot8 asked Hall of Famer & USA Basketball Managing Dir. Grant Hill if he’s had a conversation with 2023’s MVP? pic.twitter.com/QMokmeAwT9
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) July 26, 2023
"I'll just answer it with a simple answer and that's, 'Yes, I've talked to him.' No, I mean, look, he has options, he's a great player. But he's also somebody who we've talked to about next summer, and we'll see. We'll see how that plays out."
You can be sure Boris Diaw, the man in charge of the French national team, is having those same conversations with Embiid.
Embiid was born in Cameroon and has held French citizenship, but also went to high school in Florida and played college basketball at Kansas. Under FIBA rules, he has to commit to playing internationally for one nation and he has three choices (although the USA and France are the frontrunners).
Embiid's decision could swing the gold medal in Paris, although the USA will be favorites either way. France is the reigning Olympic silver medalists from Tokyo and can put together a formidable roster with Victor Wembanyama, Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Ousmane Dieng, Nicolas Batum and other role players from the NBA or high-level European clubs. Add Embiid to that group and they are a gold medal threat.
Embiid doesn't have to decide today, but he will get recruited — and asked about it by the media — until he does.