In his dingy office in the bowels of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine sits Sam Hinkie, reading through piles of manila folders full of medical reports on Joel Embiid, watching YouTube videos of Dario Saric dominating Eastern Europe, running regression models, all while listening to Bill Simmons' Grantland podcast?
Hey, it's possible.
The Sixers' GM sat down for a one-on-one interview with Comcast SportsNet's Neil Hartman that will air as part of a Philly draft special "Sixers City" next Tuesday night at 9 p.m. on The Comcast Network. We get a little teaser of that conversation today in the clip below.
Hinkie, known to keep all of his information close to his vest, shared a bit about his Internet browsing history.
He was asked if Joel Embiid hadn't injured his foot and had surgery, would he have been the No. 1 overall pick in Hinkie's mind.
"I don't think just in my mind, I think across the league. I say that not that the other players aren't remarkably talented. We visited with them as well. We would have been delighted with them in other ways. Bill Simmons wrote in his Grantland column on the day of the lottery, something like, '[blah, blah, blah] Nothing is happening, Joel Embiid is the No. 1 pick. Don't listen to anyone else. Forget who wins. Forget what their team needs. Whatever. NBA GMs don't turn down seven footers like this, they just don't. They study it for a while. They mislead for a while. They try to figure out where the market values are and make sure they don't do something silly, but at the end of the day, they'll pick him.'"
This prompted me to go back and check out the Simmons' column mentioned by Hinkie. Here's the relevant part from his pre-lottery story:
One more important note: Joel Embiid is going to be the first pick of the 2014 draft. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. These teams are full of it. We’re worried about his back, we’re hearing it’s bad … Hold on, I’m actually going to stand under the bull as he craps on me. It’s Smokescreen Central right now. And enough with the Oden parallels; unless Embiid’s pre-draft MRI reveals a career-threatening back issue (doubtful), NOBODY is passing on a franchise center who could easily be described as “The 7-Foot Serge Ibaka.” Stop it. He’s going first. We’re officially calling tonight’s lottery “Bleed for Embiid.”
Hinkie pretty much had it just right.
So what does this mean? Nothing, really. Except that the ridiculous amount of homework we all expect Sam Hinkie to be doing may also include reading some of the columns on the Internet the rest of us are reading too. (If you're reading this, HI SAM! I'm one of the patient ones.)
Curious to see the rest of the conversation Hinkie had with Hartman and get the full context. They also sat down one-on-one with Joel Embiid out in California. Gotta wait 'til Tuesday for that. That's pretty quick in Hinkie Time though.