While we're not calling Embiid a bust quite yet, he's on his way to one of the most disappointing NBA careers of the past 25 years.
What makes us so sure of that? Well, we went through the annals of flops, busts, injuries and malcontents to come up with the 10 biggest disappointments in recent NBA history — including one that will send you into a rage until you stop to think it through.
Grant Hill (1995-2013)
Hill was the best in a line of "The Next Michael Jordans." He might even have been the first LeBron James, minus a little bit of bulk.
He could do everything on the court, and do it all well. His career looked to be on the perfect trajectory, too, until a fateful ankle injury in 2000 changed everything.
Hill received poor advice from the Pistons medical staff and played when he should have been resting, which started a cascade of injuries that robbed the former Duke standout of his superstar ability.
Andrew Bynum (2006-14)
Perhaps Bynum received too much attention, too soon.
He looked like the Lakers' next franchise center at the turn of the decade, playing a significant role in Los Angeles' 2009 and 2010 championships.
That was enough to make him one of the centerpieces of the Lakers' convoluted trade for Dwight Howard, despite all of Bynum's injuries and his complete disdain for his job as a professional basketball player.
Bynum never played a game for the Sixers after the Howard deal. He wasn't healthy and he didn't seem to have any motivation to get back into basketball shape.
And you know what? That's fine. It's his life to live.
Hey, speaking of Dwight ...
Dwight Howard (2005-present)
Injuries are a recurring theme on this list, and there's no doubt Howard has faced his fair share. Back problems in particular turned the man once known as Superman into plain ol' Clark Kent.
Yet Howard hasn't done himself any favors. He's a devastating finisher in the pick-and-roll who insists on working one-on-one in the post instead. Unfortunately, he can't turn his shoulders over his hips like he used to — you know, because of that back injury — so his hook shots fall flat, and he can't face up and blow by defenders these days, either.
Add in the way the NBA adjusted to zone defense rules and the modern evolution toward 3-point shooting, and a once promising career fizzled before our very eyes.
Chris Webber (1994-2008)
After that whole timeout kerfuffle, maybe we should have seen Webber's disappointing career coming.
When the former Fab Five star was healthy and on his game, there were few better. He could run your offense as a scorer or playmaker, and Webber had an unparalleled feel for the game.
Even then, his career got off to a rocky start, with trade demands and clashes with head coaches. Webber ran into hurdles at every point in his career, and he stumbled every time.
In all the versions of the cosmos, there's at least one out there where Webber reached his full potential, and the Kings built a dynasty founded on the ruins of the Shaq and Kobe Lakers.
This just isn't that universe.
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Lamar Odom (2000-13)
Other than his iffy shooting, Odom was the perfect glue guy for the Lakers' two most recent championship teams. His skill as a point forward was an invaluable part of the triangle offense's success.
Then the Lakers tried to trade him for Chris Paul, and everything fell apart. We won't belabor the point, since you know that story. Here's hoping Odom continues to stay healthy moving forward.
NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
Derrick Rose (2009-present)
It's not over yet for Rose — but come on. It's over.
Rose looked ready to take the NBA world by storm coming off of his (now-erased) Final Four run with Memphis, and he lived up to the billing with an MVP award in just his third season.
The rest of the story is all too familiar to basketball fans. Rose's body completely fell apart, turning one of the best pick-and-roll point guards in modern NBA history into a has-been.
He still brings it every once in a while, and that's almost as bad. Each classic Rose performance is a grim reminder of who he was.
Adam Morrison (2007-10)
No one expected Morrison to be one of the greatest players of all time; we're just disappointed he never had a shot to prove what he could do on the court.
Charlotte did the Gonzaga star no favors by drafting him way too high. Morrison was hyped as a Larry Bird-type player, because of course he was, but he struggled throughout his rookie season due to the Bobcats' need for him to carry the scoring load.
A torn ACL the following preseason effectively ended Morrison's career — but not before he won a championship with the Lakers.
Penny Hardaway (1994-2008)
Most NBA observers spend their time looking for the next Michael; Penny was the next Magic.
He and Shaquille O'Neal formed a perfect dynamic duo for Orlando, surging to the Finals while Michael Jordan was off playing baseball. Once His Airness came back, we should have been set for a Magic-Bulls rivalry through the end of the decade.
Instead, Orlando's front office broke the team apart by low-balling Shaq, and Hardaway physically broke down in the wake of O'Neal's departure.
Getty ImagesAndy Lyons
Shaquille O'Neal (1993-2011)
Hear me out.
Shaq had one of the greatest careers of any professional athlete ever. He won four championships, led the most dominant playoff squad in basketball history, and thoroughly destroyed the competition (outside of Hakeem Olajuwon, anyway). I've ranked him as the fourth greatest NBA player of all time. I know of Diesel's stature.
Shaq is an absolute basketball legend — but he could have been the GOAT.
He crushed opponents as a rookie, ripping down defensive rebounds and going coast-to-coast against grown men like they were children. The NBA hadn't seen an athlete like Shaq since Wilt Chamberlain. He should have surpassed Jordan and led the Lakers to four or five or six straight championships.
Instead, he decided the best way to combat all the fouls he faced was to put on a bunch of weight and just bully people, rather than out-skill them. While that strategy worked, it gave Shaq the justification to become a much larger shadow of his former self.
He took games off, gave up on conditioning, and, of course, feuded with Kobe. He dismantled an empire over ego. And in the end, he became an NBA nomad.
If that's not disappointing to you, your standards aren't high enough.
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Greg Oden (2009-14)
Oh, what could have been.
Oden was the prototypical modern center: a fierce defensive presence who would dunk all over you on the other end of the court. He also had excellent shooting touch, which somehow gets overlooked in nostalgic discussions about the former Ohio State big man.
Before he played his first game for the Blazers, though, Oden's NBA career was doomed. He needed microfracture surgery, which gave way to a bone bruise, then a fractured knee cap ... and that was essentially the end of the line for the most disappointing NBA career in recent memory.