The French national basketball team have given Joel Embiid until October 10 to decide if he wants to play for France in the 2024 Olympics.
The Sixers big man could play for the USA, France, and also Cameroon – who earned a place in the pre-Olympic qualifiers.
Federation president Jean-Pierre Siutat revealed on French radio that he expects an answer from Embiid by the deadline they have set.
“It will happen very quickly in all cases,” Siutat said on the Stephen Time show. “We hope so and I think he knows it. We may have an answer by October 10. We have set this deadline.”
There have been some reports that Embiid already committed to playing for France, the 2024 host country, but Siutat quashed these rumors.
“We never communicated anything official about Joel Embiid,” Siutat said. “There was buzz created from everywhere, and I repeat that I want him to come. However, we made no communication about the fact that he was with us. Today, he is still not with us. We are working on it, we have a firm desire to do it. He knows it. We had the opportunity to discuss it with him and we are awaiting a decision. The American team is very interested in the idea of having him. Cameroon is qualified for the pre-Olympics. It’s a delicate situation for him.”
After flaming out early in the FIBA World Cup last month, France would certainly be bolstered by the addition of last year’s regular season MVP.
The 29-year-old is yet to make his international debut, hence why he is able to choose out of the three countries – France and USA, where he has citizenship, or his native country Cameroon.
Superstar rookie Victor Wembanyama already committed to the team last week and affirmed that he’s aiming high.
“Performing well at the Olympics would be a great story,” Wembanyama told L’Equipe. “I’ll be present at the Olympics, and there’s no other goal than gold.”
With big men Wembanyama and Rudy Gobert both likely to suit up, it may mean that Embiid could decide against playing for France.
A couple of weeks ago, NBA insider Shams Charania reported that “the prospect of persuading” Embiid to play for USA next summer “remains in play.”