What’s even more important than player development, is actually having healthy players who can step on a court. Granted, Embiid was a known risk when drafted, but the drop off was so significant after Embiid that he was well worth the risk. But only getting 31 games from him in 3 years, Simmons missing his entire 1st year, Okafor hurt off and on his two first seasons, , Noel hurt off and on when he came back after missing his first season. Let me know which coaching staffs/GM’s can develop players when suffering injuries that the Sixers have endured. You can only develop so much watching tape.
Hinkie and the Sixers tanked 3 seasons, not 5. Spurs are a wonderful model on how to run a franchise, but let’s not forget, it took them considerable luck in winning the Duncan sweepstakes for that standard to start. While I love what Ainge and the Celtics have done, sure doesn’t hurt to have 4 1st round picks from the Nets in your back pocket to start the rebuild, trading championship caliber, over the hill caliber players to a desperate Nets team. Sure would have loved for the Nets to call Hinkie/Sixers offering 4 1sts for Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner & Thaddeus Young. Would have been nice to have another team do the tanking for the Sixers right off the bat, Hinkie being able to take risks in making aggressive trades, trying to build a team his first season, knowing that if trades didn’t work out, they still had those 4 1st to fall back on. If we only had Pierce, Garnett, Rondo and a vodka induced Russian to push crazy, franchise changing deals, now that I could have aligned with.
Unfortunately, I aligned with a team that felt the best way to get back to the top was to give your team the best chance to draft a generational player by losing, which the Sixers may have done with Embiid, and possibly another in Simmons. Even more unfortunate, Hinkie didn’t predict all the injuries and how snake bitten he would be in his plan on player development.