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Hinkie Saw Opportunity To Draft Embiid As Soon As Injury News Surfaced

The Philadelphia 76ers would have likely drafted Andrew Wiggins had Joel Embiid not suffered a foot injury that will require surgery.

"I sniffed opportunity the moment it happened, the moment it happened," Sam Hinkie said on Friday. "The moment he got hurt, we thought we might get him, and we might be the organization with just the set of owners, and we might be the one to do it."

Embiid could miss his entire rookie season, just as Nerlens Noel did for the 76ers last year.

"I've seen reported by some 4 to 6 months [for Embiid to be sidelined]," Hinkie said. "I don't know where they came from. That's not the number that I heard from the surgeon himself; it's 5 to 8 months. Guess what our approach will be? We will focus on the health of the player. We've had this discussion before. I don't want that to sound glib, because it's not. It is all that matters, the long-term health of the player. Will we be smart about that? Of course. Will we be thoughtful about that? I hope so. Will we be patient? Yes, yes. We will focus on giving him a chance to be as healthy as he can be, to have the kind of career that he can have. If he can be healthy - and we think there is a very, very good chance - if he can be healthy he can have a very productive NBA career."

Hinkie will continue to take the longview in building the 76ers.

"I've been here 13 months and I think we've been pretty consistent on what we've been focused on during that time," Hinkie said. "We want to add more and more talent and bring in more and more players and help us move forward with a goal of really trying to build something that can be championship-caliber. That doesn't happen overnight. We've been really open about that. We couldn't have predicted very well at 7:40 [Thursday] night what might have happened at the third pick and exactly who might be there and who might not, and we couldn't have predicted very well at all who was going to be there at the 10th pick at that moment, because there's so many factors in the marketplace that you have to figure out what they'd do to leave you with the set of options that you're left with. We focus on trying to make all the best decisions that we can, and we'll see where that takes us.

"We took a couple of 20-year-olds [Thursday] night. It's very clear that we're going to be growing with them. We talked about that with Michael [Carter-Williams] a year ago when we said that we felt like this is a player that we can grow with, and we still feel that way. We feel that he's a player that we can grow with."

Via Bob Cooney/Philadelphia Daily News
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