Joel Embiid was the worth the wait. The third overall pick in the 2014 draft, who missed the first two seasons of his career because of injuries, made the NBA All-Rookie First Team on Monday.
A broken bone in his right foot that required surgery cost him two seasons, but Embiid averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 31 games last season. Again, injuries were a factor as his campaign was cut short because of a knee injury.
Joining Embiid, 22, on the first team were teammate Dario Saric, Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield and New York Knicks center Willy Hernangomez.
The league also announced the All-Defensive teams on Monday. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who are the three finalists for Defensive Player of the Year, anchored the first team.
Chris Paul of the LA Clippers and Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets round out the squad.
Green led the NBA in steals (2.03 per game), while Gobert led the league in blocks (2.64).
Brogdon and Saric were unanimous choices for the All-Rookie team. Those two, along with Embiid, are finalists for Rookie of the Year.
Brogdon, who was a second-round pick, led all rookies in assists (4.2 per game) and steals (1.12) and averaged 10.2 points per contest.
Saric was second in rookie scoring at 12.8 points per game and teamed with Embiid to be the first teammates to make the All-Rookie team since 2008.
Hield led all rookies in 3-pointers made (148), while Hernangomez led rookies in field goal percentage (52.9) and double-doubles (11).