So, how’s that Joel Embiid rehab going? Not too good? Imagine that. A plan of rebuilding a franchise that consists of chucking away good players and betting everything on the draft doesn’t seem to be panning out. The Philadelphia 76ers might be patient, but when does Sam Hinkie stop looking like a genius and is shown for being the NBA gambler he is?
This is what Hinkie had to say about Embiid, who missed his entire rookie year (like Nerlens Noel) after being taken third overall in the 2014 NBA draft: As part of the conservative approach focused on the long-term health, recovery and care of Joel, we have been closely monitoring his progress, regularly evaluating his status and adjusting our plans accordingly.
Recently, Joel and Sixers personnel traveled to Los Angeles for a series of routine exams with a number of physicians who have been actively involved throughout this process. During his visit with Dr. Richard Ferkel, a standard CT scan on Joel’s right foot revealed less healing than anticipated at this point.
Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his current activities. Together with Joel and his representatives, we will continue to consult with the experienced team of doctors who have been an integral part of his evaluations, while also engaging in dialogue with a broader set of experts and specialists. Discussions regarding the appropriate next steps are currently ongoing and we will share an update once it becomes available.
Hinkie said that the injury to Embiid was what gave him and the Sixers, the team with the “right set of owners” to make that kind of risky move, the opportunity to draft Embiid, who at a healthier version of himself would have been the number one overall selection. Yes, even before Andrew Wiggins.
So what now for the Sixers? Nothing much. Taking the third overall pick in this draft for starters, unless Hinkie hasn’t had enough second round picks to hoard. What about actually making the team better with some outside assistance and using the huge cap space they have at their disposal? We’re not quite sure how long-term the long term plan is, but there doesn’t seem to be any pressure on Hinkie to deliver wins and results now. Another season of tanking and of very bad offensive basketball is awaiting.