In a few years, when the Philadelphia 76ers have developed into a quality team, Sam Hinkie is going to look very smart. The pushed aside former Sixers GM was willing to play the “be bad to get good” game more aggressively than anyone, he had a long-term vision and more patience than anyone (including his own ownership), he mainly did a poor job of controlling his own narrative (he didn’t care much).
Hinkie still has his players’ backs — he cast his All-Star vote for Joel Embiid. After Embiid prodded him.
Joel Embiid’s Twitter campaign to make the All-Star team has been nothing short of brilliant.
Will he make it? Let’s assume that, per usual, there will be seven Eastern Conference frontcourt players on the roster, and that the three starters (as voted by fans/players/media) will be LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Kevin Love (the top three fan vote getters so far, all locks to get picked by the coaches if they are not voted starters). That leaves four spots… really three because Jimmy Butler is a lock. That means picking three more from a list of Embiid, Paul George, Kristaps Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Jabari Parker, Andre Drummond, and Al Horford. One could certainly make the case Embiid deserves to be one of the three out of that group, but I also could make a good case for a group that leaves him out. It’s tight.
I want Embiid to be in New Orleans — it’s an exhibition that should be about the players we want to see, who make the game entertaining. Embiid does that. But we’ll see if the fans will vote in, or the coaches will select, a rookie.