1. Was Joel Embiid the right pick?
Anthony Calabro: Yes. As frustrating as it is to not get the immediate help the Sixers so desperately need, Embiid is the best player in this draft … and Hinkie got him without giving up assets. Now heal big fella’!
Eric Goldwein: We’ll see. From a value perspective, this was a buy-low opp. All it’ll take is a few months of healthy basketball for his stock to rise above what it is now. It’s a gamble, but it would have been just as risky to pass him up.
Tom Sunnergren: Yes. Given the options that were available, yes. He isn’t Wiggins, and it’ll be difficult to stomach having the Sixers top pick in consecutive drafts spend the season on the shelf, and he might never really play NBA basketball given the shitty prognosis his injury carries for especially huge humans–but…I lost my train of thought there. Oh, yes. He also might transmogrify into the next Hakeem Olajuwon. That possibility makes him the right pick.
Marc Nemcik: I’d say so. Not getting to see their top selection for a second year in a row will be frustrating for Sixers fans, but it’ll be worth it. Hinkie and the Sixers brass know not to make a shortsighted decision, and they took the guy with the biggest upside for the future.
Daniel Christian: I think so. There was a compelling case to be made for Exum, but at the end of the day, Embiid is the best prospect in this draft class. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be special.
2. Dario Saric is ____
Goldwein: Boris Tskitishvili Rentzias.
Sunnergren: I’ve read Dario Saric’s name, because I’ve spent a lot of time the last few months reading mock drafts. It’s a good name. Sounds like a winner. And Hinkie likes him. That’s fine. He won’t be playing in the NBA for the next two years, but, I guess that’s fine too. I’m assuming he’ll be good. Great even. The greatest, maybe.
Nemcik: Another guy we won’t see for a while. Philadelphia considered drafting him at 10, but got two picks in return for the trade with the Magic. It will be interesting to see Noel, Embiid and Saric play together; if they ever do play together.
Christian: Worth the wait. Hinkie is preaching patience with his picks this year, but Saric projects as a lethal playmaker down the road. He’ll be ready to go whenever he gets to Philadelphia, and should add another dimension to the offense.
3. What grade do you give the Sixers?
Calabro: Incomplete: The Embiid pick was the right call,
Goldwein: B. (Assuming they did their due diligence on Embiid). Best case, they get a superstar center, a highly skilled big that comes over next year, and they get their 2017 first round pick back. Worst case, shit hits the fan. Come back to me in three years.
Sunnergren: Incomplete. My head’s spinning. Exactly none of the things I thought would happen–Wiggins, Vonleh, Marcus Smart?–came to pass. I’m more surprised by this than I should be. We won’t be able to grade this draft, even begin grading this draft, for the better part of a decade.
Nemcik: A+ for the trade with Orlando. Hinkie took Payton without a deal in place and got two picks out of it. It’s virtually impossible to grade both Embiid and Saric knowing that neither of these guys will make an impact next season.
Christian: A-? Hard to say. I love Embiid, but time will tell if he can be who we hope he can be. I love the Saric pick too, but we won’t be able to see if that pans out for another two years. It seems great on the surface, but also feels a little risky. Could go either way down the road, but the initial reaction is a positive one.
4. 10 years from now, we’ll remember this draft as …
Anthony: The Wiggins draft. I think Wiggins is going to be a star in this league. He will develop a jumper, and when he does, watch out world.
Goldwein: The night that divided the Sixers fan base. Tomorrow morning, if you’re crazy enough to turn on sports radio, you’ll hear from the pissed off season ticket holders “that work two jobs and mortgaged their house and sold their children” just to support their team. And as much as I want to make fun of those fans, they have a bit of a point. Losing sucks. And the Sixers are putting a losing team on the floor again. But at Barclays — where there’s a younger, more, internet-friendly crowd — there was a different vibe. That demographic is growing. And when the Sixers finally become good, they’ll be the majority.
Sunnergren: Sam Hinkie demonstrated–finally and fully–that he has testicles that are made of brass. We look back and recall that this was the draft that we learned, mostly through inference, that Hinkie had an accident as a child and his parents, as a purely cosmetic procedure, replaced the testicles that he lost with a pair made out of brass.
Nemcik: The one that worked out beautifully or totally flopped. Embiid is a risky selection with what we know as of now. He could be the next Olajuwon or the next Oden. I think Saric is more of a sure thing, but let’s hope he doesn’t turn into Ricky Sanchez.
Christian: The deepest draft in a long time. A ton of quality of players.
5. Is there more to come?
Anthony Calabro: Oh hell yeah.
Goldwein: Does a catfish have whiskers?
Sunnergren: Yes. Though it’s impossible to guess what. You don’t know Hinkie. I don’t know Hinkie. Hinkie is unknowable. He works in mysterious ways, vibrates at his own frequency, sees things that we’re not just incapable of seeing, but incapable of processing. The Sixers aren’t just going to win a title under Hinkie, the franchise is going to turn into pure energy and fly into the galaxy. A beautiful, bright vortex. So hot with light that it hurts your eyes, but you can’t look away.
Nemcik: We’re in for a long night. The Sixers still have five selections in this draft and you never know what Hinkie has up his sleeve, besides a pocket calculator.
Christian: I’m sure there is. Hinkie is never finished.