The 76ers fan base continues to have so many questions regarding Joel Embiid.
General manager Sam Hinkie attempted to provide some answers in a recent round of interviews.
The truth is this: no one will truly know anything until Embiid tries to return from a second foot surgery and a second consecutive missed season. The No. 3 overall pick from Kansas in the 2014 NBA Draft, Embiid has yet to play one second in a Sixers uniform.
Embiid will be out for the entire season. Again.
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In the first surgical procedure, Embiid had a pair of screws placed in his foot. This time, a portion of his hip bone was taken and grafted in his navicular bone.
That’s medical talk.
All the fans know is that Embiid will miss another season. They want to know if the ultra-talented big man has a long career.
No one really knows.
“We’d be silly not to take a fresh approach again and try to learn again,” Hinkie told reporters. “We’ve had sort of the unfortunate experience of having a player be out the whole season in Nerlens Noel. That made us even better and even smarter about the way we handle Joel, who’s a very different case and a different person and a different injury. I feel like, by definition, we have to be smarter having had a year of working with Joel under our belt.”
Hinkie plans to be cautious. That much is evident. Any why not? This is clearly for the long-term future of the franchise if it all works out.
“We are focused on these first six or 10 weeks (after surgery) right now,” Hinkie told reporters. “Then we will get to that next phase. No one wants to be second-guessing this a year from now or 10 years from now or four years from now.”
The Sixers did their due diligence before moving forward with the surgery. Now, all they can do is wait.
“I’m optimistic,” Hinkie said. “The (five) doctors that operated on him are, too. … Do you have reason to be concerned? Of course.”