Jun 26 2014

For the Sixers, Plan B is Embiid. We think.

With their most anticipated selection since 1996, the Philadelphia 76ers drafted 7-foot center Joel Embiid.

We were a bit surprised, though perhaps we shouldn’t have been.

The Sixers reportedly offered the Cavs three picks — Nos. 3, 10 and 32 — for the No. 1 selection and the right to draft Andrew Wiggins. If that was true, the Sixers turned to Plan B. But maybe they wanted Embiid all along.

A broken navicular bone in his foot discovered late in the draft process will sideline the Kansas star for 4-6 months, and possibly the entire 2014-15 season. Despite the broken foot, a previous back injury sustained in early March, and a loaded draft class, most still felt as though Embiid had the highest upside in the draft. Some think picking him here is a reach — he was projected to slide to the Boston Celtics at No. 6 or the L.A Lakers at No. 7. But the upside was too big to pass up.

At 7-feet tall with a wingspan  of 7’5”, Embiid has the ability to post up in the paint, as well as hit the 10-15 foot jumper. He’s drawn comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon and Serge Ibaka. But for Sixers fans, the easiest (and perhaps, faultiest) comparison here is Nerlens Noel. Yes, Sixers fans, expect more looped B-roll footage of a Sixers big man taking uncontested 5-foot hook shots.

But this isn’t an ACL injury. There’s a lot more unpredictability here. Best case, he’s a superstar center. Worst case, he’s Greg Oden. Hinkie gambled. We’ll see if it pans out.

  • robbybonfire23

    It’s funny, how different teams you root for in different sports have different operational values and philosophies. My NY Rangers G.M. is the biggest, stick-in-the-mud, “just build a team to make the playoffs” coward on the face of the earth. Consequently, The Rangers, physically. looked more like the South Dakota Fighting Sioux, than an NHL Stanley Cup finalist, vs. the L.A. Kings.

    On the other hand, Mr. Hinkie is the ultimate John “Bet A Million” Gates, when it comes to rolling the dice. While I am suffering right now over our not taking Smart or Exum, I do have to give credit to Mr. Hinkie for being the most fearless and gutsy G.M. on the planet.

    Between the two G.M.’s, Sather and Hinkie, I will take Hinkie, because when he hits for the big score, this time around or in the future, it could well take this team to the top. The other guy should be a Municipal Bond salesman, such is his crass cowardice.

    Mr. Hinkie understands something so many G.M.’s across the sports spectrum are missing – Better to finish last or first, than to wallow in the quagmire of mediocrity.

    • hk99

      Well said, robby.

      • robbybonfire23