In an unnoticed development at last week’s trade deadline, the 76ers were still trying to trade up for a top pick in this draft, indicating a willingness to talk about Joel Embiid or any player on their team, an NBA source told Forbes.com.
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Yes, that’s the Joel Embiid they drafted No. 3 overall last spring. In other words, after going 65-144 over the last two-plus seasons and parting with Jrue Holiday, Nikola Vucevic, Louis Williams, Thaddeus Young, Jodie Meeks, Spencer Hawes, Nick Young and Andre Iguodala, the 76ers don’t have an asset on the lot whom they’re committed to.
Except Philly does have one type of asset to whom it’s commited: its draft picks.
The 76ers love their draft picks. They love other teams’ draft picks. They love your draft picks. They love my draft picks. Any scraps they can get, they will.
Philly acquired two first-rounders on trade deadline Thursday, one from the Denver Nuggets as a favor for taking on JaVale McGee’s contract and one from the Phoenix Suns (via the L.A. Lakers) in the Michael Carter-Williams deal. But it seems like general manager Sam Hinkie is aggressively scratching off his skin as he joneses for even more of them.
The only question left: Would Hinkie draft another unable-to-play prospect after selecting Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Dario Saric in his last two first-round draft classes? There’s no way he’d take someone who could actually get on the floor, right? Look at what happened to Carter-Williams, the only of the four first-rounders Philly has taken under Hinkie who was able to contribute right away. He’s not even on the team anymore.
The 76ers love draft picks. When (if?) they start turning them into something other than more first- or second-rounders is when they the grand master’s plan will finally start to work. Don’t ask me when that time will come.