Sixers owner Josh Harris admits that it’s difficult to watch his team lose, but he insists that he doesn’t want to sacrifice the franchise’s long-term rebuilding plan, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). Harris is still supportive of GM Sam Hinkie, pointing to the work he’s done via trade, and he doesn’t question the team’s decision to draft Joel Embiid third overall last year despite the fact that he’s likely to miss a second season in a row because of his ailing right foot, as Tom Moore of Calkins Media observes (All Twitter links).
‘When we drafted Joel, it was a good risk to take. I was really disappointed [about the news of his second foot surgery],” Harris said. “When you talk to the doctors, they’re quite optimistic. You have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”
See more from Philadelphia:
- Harris and Hinkie didn’t talk about an extension for coach Brett Brown, whose contract expires at the end of the 2016/17 season, but they made it clear they’re fond of him. “I give Brett an A for the job he’s done. He’s an incredible player development person,” Harris said, according to Moore (Twitter links). “I hope and expect Brett to be around the team for a long, long time.” Hinkie believes Brown has also excelled in ways that aren’t readily apparent, as Pompey relays. “I’m proud to see all of you like Brett Brown as much as I like Brett Brown,” Hinkie said to reporters, including Moore, as he pointed to stories about the idea of an extension. “It’s been a real pleasure — and I suspect it’ll continue to be a real pleasure — to work with him. He and I have a great relationship. He’s been a fantastic partner.”
- Carl Landry is still about five or six weeks away from a return following June 2nd surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist, but Hinkie indicated that the team intends for him to stick around despite his status as a veteran who’s making a relatively sizable amount of money, as Pompey details. His $6.5MM salary is the highest on the team. “We talked a lot about this situation and how it’s different the way people might perceive it [as nothing more than a salary dump], and the importance of his voice and how that might matter,” Hinkie said. “That doesn’t take away from his game. I think he will be able to play fine.”
- Nik Stauskas, whom the Sixers acquired along with Landry via trade this summer, regrets approaching his rookie year last season with trepidation, as he tells Pompey for a separate piece. “Coming into last year, I had no clue what to expect,” Stauskas said. “I was a little bit nervous, maybe a little bit scared. Coming into the NBA for me was almost a different ball game. Looking back on it, that was probably one of the biggest mistakes I made. It’s still just basketball. It just happens to be with different players in a different league.”
- Undrafted rookie Christian Wood has just a $50K guarantee on his deal with the Sixers, but he’s looked impressive so far, Pompey opines. Brown has praise for the power forward, and particularly for the development of his three-point shot.