By Sarah Berkowitz

Nothing makes the sports world go more atwitter than the news that a star, or potential star, has a physical ailment.

X-rays are studied, Cat-scans too.

Specialists who are not treating the athlete are pimped out on sports talk radio to give an opinion.

Then, of course, there are the opinions of sports tak radio “experts.”

Over on 97.5 The Fanatic, one actually said this the other day:

“With Sixer Joel Embiid, the best scenario is that he plays 72, 73 games a season.”


Based on what evidence?

Other NBA big men who have suffered foot injuries like Bill Walton and Yao Ming?

How do you know?

You do not.

The Sixers are no better or worse off than they were before this Embiid news broke. There isn’t a “there” there yet.

It’s hard to imagine Embiid’s injury particularly impacting Sam Hinkie’s draft strategy. The Sixers are still in best-available country, as says.

If the Lakers take D’Angelo Russell with the second pick, and Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor is still on the board, the Sixers will probably take one of the big men, despite the presence of Noel and Embiid. An asset is an asset.

By that same token, Hinkie will not be scared off from taking projects like Emmanuel Mudiay or Kristaps Porzingis just because some want him to put a better product on the floor this October. He has not made a single decision that suggests he cares about any timeline but his own. That might actually cost him his job before he gets to see it through, or maybe the Sixers ownership group really is committed to a radically transparent rebuild, with the ultimate goal of winning an NBA title, and the owners are going to trust Hinkie through as many burned first-round picks as he needs to make to get them there.

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