Former University of Kansas center Joel Embiid would not be able to recoup some of the money he lost if he slips significantly in the draft as a result of the stress fracture in his right foot. Embiid was scheduled to have surgery on Friday.
Embiid, who was projected by many to be the first pick in Thursday's NBA draft, had his total disability insurance policy purchased through the school, according to Jim Marchiony, an associate athletic director at Kansas. Marchiony confirmed that the school purchased a $5 million policy, the maximum allowed under the NCAA insurance program, through the NCAA Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund, which allows schools to apply for need-based assistance on behalf of its players.
The policy purchased through the NCAA program does not allow for loss-of-value insurance, a rider attached to insurance policies that permits athletes to collect if they fall far enough in the draft from their projected position at the time of signing the policy. Athletes can get loss-of-value policies, but they have to go outside the NCAA program to do so.
The only way Embiid would collect any money, therefore, is if his injury is a total disability and he never plays again.
Chris Larcheveque of International Specialty Insurance said that if Embiid were to ask for loss-of-value insurance in November, when most policies are purchased, his company would have projected him as the second overall pick. Using standard loss-of-value policies as a guide, Embiid would have begun to collect if he fell further than the seventh pick.
In his latest mock draft, ESPN insider Chad Ford drops Embiid from No. 1 to No. 4 because of the injury. Over four years, the fourth pick will make about $8.2 million less than the first pick, per the rookie wage scale. The net loss would be a bit less for Embiid if Orlando keeps the fourth pick because Florida is an income-tax-free state.
Marchiony said this was the first year Kansas paid for elite student-athlete insurance, which included a $5 million policy for forward Andrew Wiggins as well. The school is currently reviewing whether it will do the same for next year, he said.