Whether you liked the decision by Sam Hinkie and the Philadelphia 76ers to select Kansas center Joel Embiid with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft or not, we can all agree it was a calculated risk.
Our own Andrew Unterberger described going with Embiid over one of the safer options as "a 50% chance of hitting a home run vs. a 100% chance of hitting a double."
That's some rough math. But Hinkie likely did just a bit more.
He addressed the team's thought process in evaluating the risk of selecting Embiid at the team's press conference this afternoon.
"You don't find big samples for any of these," Hinkie said. "Look for studies for 7-foot, 20-year-old basketball players from Africa with a particular break in their foot. That's challenging. There aren't a lot of those."
"You end up trying to triangulate from lots of different areas. We had many late night conference calls where we'd go through all of the literature. We'd gather the opinions of the best surgeons around the country. We'd gather the opinions of the people that evaluated Joel in person to try and triangulate all of those answers and to try and keep them independent. This risk looks like this, someone else would say the risk looks like this. You're not sure who to trust. You end up sort of averaging it out," Hinkie said.
"In the end we feel good. It's a calculated risk. He's a remarkable talent. In our minds, in only this scenario, does he fall to three."
Sam Hinkie clearly did his due diligence. He has as much information and data on Joel Embiid as anyone. Much more that us fans sitting at home. So you can dislike the pick all you want, but Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker were no longer an option and Sam Hinkie selected the best player he thought was available.
It is risky. It is calculated.
Just like everything else Sam Hinkie does.
Whether that risk pays of or not remains to be seen. May take a couple years to find out. Sam Hinkie is patient. Are you?