The Sixers have been much maligned for their choice to go through an extended rebuilding process, one which has involved multiple seasons of bottoming out in order to gain the best chance of landing the highest draft picks possible.
Even the players ultimately chosen with some of those picks aren’t safe; we just saw the reigning Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams dealt at the trade deadline, along with a surprisingly talented rookie in K.J. McDaniels whom the Sixers were fortunate enough to land with a pick in the second round.
Sam Hinkie explained his reasoning for making those trades, and the rare availability of a high lottery pick was his motivation to deal Carter-Williams, while the ability to get what he believed to be an upgrade in Isaiah Canaan (along with another second round pick) was enough to send McDaniels out of town.
From the outside looking in, it may appear as though Philadelphia isn’t all that committed to any of its prospects on the roster. And a recent report that Joel Embiid may have been available for more high lottery picks only adds more fuel to that somewhat speculative fire.
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.
Yes, that’s the Joel Embiid they drafted No. 3 overall last spring, after compiling the worst record and seeing the Cavaliers and Bucks jump ahead of them in the lottery.
The headline of the story screams “76ers Just Offered Anyone On Their Team For More No.1 Picks,” but that obviously doesn’t match the report, which is far less sensational.
A “willingness to talk” is not the same as offering up players in trade. Of course Hinkie is willing to talk about trading anyone on his team; that’s essentially a big part of his job. If someone really wanted Embiid and came calling with some insane offer of multiple No.1 picks, he’d be a fool to shut those conversations down.