Love him or hate him, Sam Hinkie got it right with Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.
Acquiring the two in the 2014 draft was the boldest move of The Process.
And it was also the proudest of Hinkie's tenure as Sixers GM, he revealed on the Invest Like the Best podcast on Tuesday.
"And we got to draft night and we made a bunch of transactions, but the gist of, at least at the top of the draft, was we drafted one guy that was structurally unavailable to play for the first year, and another guy that was locked in to play in Europe for the next two years," Hinkie said. That's [Joel] Embiid and Dario Saric.
"Coming in, everyone felt like we're going to get two great players tonight, and it's going to be so much fun at Summer League in a week. And three hours later, we don't have anybody. That was very hard, I was super proud of us for doing that, and proud of ownership for having the courage to be able to do that. We talked about it days ahead of time, that it might go that way and that there was a real possibility this could be our best option, and if it was, did we have the courage to do it? And to [the owners'] everlasting credit, they did, and we did it."
And it's hard to argue against Hinkie.
Sure, dreadful basketball followed, as Embiid missed his first two seasons with injuries and Saric toiled away in Europe.
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But now, Embiid (drafted No. 3 overall) is the centerpiece of the franchise while Saric (acquired on draft night from the Magic) has become a tremendous role player.
Hinkie, like all of Philly, also professed his love for T.J. McConnell in the interview.
"What overachieving for T.J. McConnell means is very different than what overachieving for Joel Embiid means because of the gifts that they have. But people who have a real grittiness but don't take themselves too seriously, and are really realistic and are everyday learners, I can't get enough of those people, honestly," Hinkie said.