But it’s hard. This is Philadelphia, after all, and you’ve gotten burned so many times before. In 1993, the Sixers took Shawn Bradley over Penny Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn. In 1994, they took Sharone Wright at No. 6 — and ended up picking in the No. 3 and No. 1 spots the next two seasons. One year the Sixers took two guys who’d go on to make the majors — in baseball. Between 1999 and 2003, the best player the Sixers drafted was Samuel Dalembert. The Sixers had the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft and took Evan Turner, who had just completed one of the best college seasons of all time. He was a disappointment here.
Feb 22, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) and guard Andrew Wiggins (22) speak with media after the game against the Texas Longhorns at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 85-54. Photo | Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
So the Philadelphia 76ers get the shaft in the draft again. Maybe, maybe not — it depends on who you believe. I desperately want to believe Eliot Shorr-Parkes of the NewarkStar Ledger who paints a dream scenario after another draft nightmare in a series of Sixers draft nightmares dating back to 1974 when the Sixers lost a coin flip for the No. 1 pick and ended up with Marvin Barnes instead of Bill Walton.
Walton led the Portland Trailblazers to the 1977 NBA Championship and won the MVP the following year. Barnes never played a game for the Sixers. His pro career was cut short by drug use; he spent time in prison and was homeless for a time.
“We got screwed again” was the prevailing sentiment of Sixers fans last week when it was disclosed that Kansas center Joel Embiid required surgery for a foot injury. Most NBA analysts had the 7-footer going to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first pick in the draft. Duke forward Jabari Parker, considered the most NBA-ready star in the draft, would then go to Milwaukee with the second pick. And Andrew Wiggins, the Kansas forward just out of High School with unlimited potential, would fall in the 76ers lap.
And now there seems no hope of getting Wiggins. Again, maybe, maybe not.
And Moore isn’t the only one; Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News also has Wiggins still going to the Sixers with the third pick. Lawrence thinks the Cavaliers will still take Embiid at No. 1 and then Parker will go to Milwaukee.
Granted, most mock drafts have Wiggins and Parker now going one and two leaving the Sixers deciding whether to pick the 7-foot, bad foot Embiid. That would mean for three years in a row the 76ers had acquired a 7-footer with injury problems. Andrew Bynum was a disaster. Much like Embiid, Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel was projected to be the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, but a knee injury late in the season caused him to fall to New Orleans at the six spot, the 76ers then traded for the rights to Noel, who (expectedly) sat out the entire last season.
Embiid has already had his surgery and it reportedly went well, but he is still expected to be out 4-6 months and will miss most of next season. Would the 76ers take Embiid at No. 3 and pair him inside with Noel, potentially giving Philadelphia the most imposing dual presence since the Liberty Towers?
Maybe they won’t have to pick him at No. 3 to get him. The 76ers also have the tenth pick in the draft. The Sixers got the pick along with Noel for then-All Star guard Jrue Holiday.
That could turn out to be a phenomenal trade if Jeff Goodman from ESPN is right. He thinks Embiid will fall all the way down to the Sixers at No. 10.
So could the 76ers end up with Wiggins at No. 3 and Embiid at No. 10? Probably not. I am just delivering you the same good news that Lloyd Christmas got in the movie Dumb and Dumber. I’m telling you there’s a chance.
And you thought the Sixers’ draft day was going to go swimmingly.
Today came news that possible No. 1 overall pick Joel Embiid suffered a foot injury. This is bad no matter who you think the Sixers should take: If you want Embiid, a 7-foot center who played for Kansas last season, it could lessen the chance they’ll take him. If you want another player (6-8 wing Andrew Wiggins), the Sixers may need to trade up to draft him if teams are passing on Embiid.
(In reality, the Sixers only own seven draft slots: The 3rd and 10th overall, then five in the second round — numbers 32, 39, 47, 52 and 54.)
“We will have an unprecedented 76 Sixers Draft parties to match the size and scope of what this night means to our organization, and especially to our fans,” said Sixers Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer Tim McDermott “said” in a the press release. “Unprecedented” surely is the correct term, but who else would try this? The Sixers are the only team with 76 in their name. Maybe the Delaware 87ers could’ve tried having 87 parties for some event, but they’ve only been around a year.