Ex-Sixer Evan Turner is defending former Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie, who resigned Wednesday, writes Jay King of MassLive. Turner, now with the Celtics, spent nearly four years in Philadelphia before being traded to Indiana in 2014. He didn’t read Hinkie’s 13-page resignation letter but says he understood what the former executive was trying to accomplish. “One thing I didn’t know was [how well they’re set up for the draft],” Turner said. “That’s somewhat ingenious. That could set them up great for the future. It’s just in the NBA, I don’t know what he had with [76ers owner] Josh Harris, but typically jobs, unless you’re a legend, jobs don’t last seven or eight years for a plan. I think if it does work out then he did set them up great, you know?” Philadelphia, which has clinched the top spot in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings, will have its own first-round pick in June, along with the Heat’s, the Thunder’s and the Lakers’ if it falls out of the top three.
There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:
- Turner still believes great things are ahead for Sixers center Joel Embiid, King writes in the same piece. Philadelphia took Embiid third overall in the 2014 draft, but a string of injuries has prevented him from playing. Calling him possibly the “next [Hakeem] Olajuwon,” Turner recalls watching Embiid in an early workout. “The kid went in-between-the-legs dunk at 7-feet,” Turner said. “Bigs are hard to find. That coordination, and I’ve seen him hit 15 straight threes from the top [of the arc]. Hopefully it works out for him because I’ve got so much respect for [76ers head coach] Brett [Brown], I’ve got so much respect for the staff that works there, and when Philly gets going like in the [Allen] Iverson days it can be a special city.”
- The risks that Hinkie took were worthwhile, argues Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine. While acknowledging the potential downside of Hinkie’s moves, Bodner contends Embiid could be the Sixers’ best center since Moses Malone and Nerlens Noel is the team’s best interior defender since Dikembe Mutombo. In addition, Philadelphia has a 50-50 shot at landing a top two draft pick and selecting Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram.
- Despite charges of nepotism, likely new GM Bryan Colangelo has a solid record, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pompey notes that Colangelo is a two-time Executive of the Year who has a history of making aggressive moves.