One of the top prospects in the draft, Kansas center Joel Embiid, received some disappointing news on Monday.
Assuming he suffers no setbacks, the Jayhawks may need to survive a couple of rounds without their starting center.
Before the injury, Embiid projected to be a top three pick -- and possibly the No. 1 selection.
Will the injury inspire the freshman to stay another year at Kansas? Or rather will the scare inspire him to leave, looking to lock in guaranteed NBA money as quickly as he can?
Embiid's draft stock might dip if teams are concerned about his back. If the Lakers don't win the lottery, they still might be in range to draft Embiid if he drops behind players like Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Duke's Jabari Parker, Kentucky's Julius Randle and Australian guard Dante Exum.
Recently, Embiid tweeted a fondness for Los Angeles.
I want to live in LA so bad #beautiful— Joel-Hans Embiid (@jojo_embiid) March 9, 2014
Through 28 appearances with the Jayhawks, Embiid has averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.
At 7 feet, 250 pounds, Embiid is a true center. Although he's still developing, Embiid has shown the makings of a versatile, low-post game. He was also named the Big 12's defensive player of the year.
Embiid may need some time to develop into a high-level NBA starter, but the Lakers had success taking a similar project in Andrew Bynum (10th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft).
Where the Lakers will pick could range from the top pick, all the way down to 10th.
The final month of the season will present a clearer picture, but even a single win through the team's final 18 games could hurt the Lakers' lottery position.