Will Joel Embiid's return be worth the investment for the 76ers? | Good Word with Goodwill

Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill is joined by Jason Goff of NBC Sports Chicago to discuss the Philadelphia center's upcoming return to the floor and if it can help turn the tide for the 76ers. Hear the full conversation on “Good Word with Goodwill” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

- Joel Embiid is nearing a return and it's supposed to play this week, coming off of a left meniscus injury. Jason, me and you were both in Chicago when Derrick Rose suffered the second meniscus injury in 2015 that he missed like maybe six weeks and came back during the playoffs and he was trying to look like himself. That's Derrick Rose at 6'3'', 190 pounds. Joel Embiid, 7'1'', pushing 3 bills, on a knee, on a team that I don't see having real playoff prospects. Do you see the return on this investment for him and for them or do you think this is a lot of, hey, I'm also playing in the Olympics this year, so I got to get myself all the way right?

- I think it's some of that. And I also think like, what do we talk about when it comes to Joel Embiid? We say the things about Joel Embiid that we don't say about any other star in terms of his sheer numbers. Like the numbers go down in the playoffs. Like they're not what they are supposed to be--

- Demon drop. Demon drop, lower numbers.

- Yeah. Yeah. Like I love the playoffs because you're not going up against bad pitching, right? You ain't going against 3 through 5 starters in that rotation. You're going against ones and twos. So now let's find out in a phone booth, over the next 11 days, seven games. I know what you do, you know what I do. Can you play over the play? Like these are the moments that we crown people in, right?

So that's what we're waiting on with Joel. And I think, like if we look at the Joel career arc, Vinny, I mean, this went from the process and then we get to young Joel, I'm enjoying myself, dancing on stages at concerts. And everybody-- tweeting AT Rihanna and all the stuff that young dudes carry on with. He was having fun with his career. Then it got real serious. And then Kawhi Leonard happened. Right?

When the last time you seen Joel smile? Right? Like for the last two years all we've seen is mean face Joel. So now the next step in this is this playoffs, sir. And maybe he's ready, maybe he's not ready and I will judge him appropriately, because we've seen guys drag legs throughout the playoffs. But--

- Yes, we have this.

- --this is a badge of honor that he's trying to earn right now. So they get to the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston. And they lose in six games or something like that. That is going to be, that's going to be stripes on his shoulder. Right?

- Yes.

- Finally in the playoffs he did something that we didn't expect him to do, whether it be win a championship or play above his numbers. So I think he's in a win-win kind of situation, outside of the fact that he doesn't get injured again.

- There's only three weeks left before the start of the playoffs. Like don't know if that's enough time for a guy like that, who's have problems with conditioning throughout his career--

- True.

- --to get himself conditioned, to get himself effective, let alone turning himself into a dude who averages 35 and 12. That's asking a lot. That's asking for a lot.