Philadelphia fans and analysts alike react to the 76ers drafting the ex-Kansas big man.
Undoubtedly the biggest risk of the NBA Draft was the Philadelphia 76ers' decision to take Kansas center Joel Embiid with the third pick. After a fracture was found in the Cameroonian's foot before the draft he fell from the consensus number-one pick to possibly falling out of the top ten.
The Sixers grabbed Embiid even though he was said to be likely to miss 4-6 months. Now, Philadelphia General Manager Sam Hinkie says the timeframe for the 20-year-old's return is more like 5-8 months, meaning he will miss the majority, if not all, of next season.
On Twitter, NBA analysts reacted to the news that their top pick will almost certainly play no part for the second year in a row.
76ers have become road scholars at drafting/trading for injured centers. Nerlens Noel, Andrew Bynum, Joel Embiid. Recipe for failure!— Ben Maller (@benmaller) June 28, 2014
GREAT PICK by Sixers. Steal of draft. From what I'm told, stress fractures were freak injuries. Bones not brittle.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 26, 2014
The reaction from Philly fans, however, has been almost universally positive as they put great trust in Hinkie's plan to build a solid team for years to come.
They say Joel Embiid might sit out all season. No prob. Blake Griffin did and when he came back he played phenomenal! #GiveHimTimeToBeGreat— Da'Sean C Butler (@TheDaSeanButler) June 28, 2014
Saric is an incredible talent. Shame not to see him for 2 years, but Hinkie’s playing the long game. Great fit with Embiid if both work out— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) June 27, 2014
If Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid both have themselves a successful, and injury-free career, Sam Hinkie's a genius. #Sixers— John Rallis (@john_rallis) June 28, 2014
the Sixers were one of like 5 teams that had Embiid's medical records. Hinkie's no dummy. we rollin.— maurice (@tallmaurice) June 27, 2014
You can sure bet Hinkie did his homework on Embiid. If the medical concerns were THAT bad he wouldn’t have taken him.— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) June 27, 2014
NBA GMs generally have a short shelf life - they are expected to win sooner rather than later and as a result they elect to make safe bets rather than play the long game. Clearly the Sixers have given Hinkie the time he needs, however, to build a good roster, and he also has the fans' backing to turn this team around.