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Philadelphia 76ers 2014 Draft Report Card

By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor

Additions: Joel Embiid (3)

Dario Saric (12)

K.J. McDaniels (32)

Jerami Grant (39)

Vasilije Micic (52)

Jordan McRae (58)

Pierre Jackson (trade)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Thursday was another long and interesting draft night for Philadelphia 76ers' general manager Sam Hinkie.

At three, Philly pulled the trigger on Joel Embiid and his bad foot ... and back ... and whatever other ailments that appeared on his medical records.

If healthy, Embiid would've gone No. 1 in this draft. He could be a transcendent two-way talent. His offensive game is pretty refined for someone with very little organized basketball experience. Defensively, Embiid will be a big-time rim protector.

But, he'll be gone most likely for the season with a broken bone in his foot. Recovery time is expected to be 5-8 months.

The Sixers were of course not done. They took Elfrid Payton 10th, then flipped him for Croatia's Dario Saric, a first-round pick in 2017 and a second-rounder in 2015.

Saric is a highly-skilled big man, who is more of a play-maker than a back-to- the-basket grunt. Point-forward is a phrase you'll hear and Saric compared his game to Lamar Odom and Toni Kukoc.

Of course, he signed a deal in Turkey and won't be with the Sixers for at least two years.

Those are insanely risky selections by Hinkie, who already forced the Sixers' fan base into one horrendous season. With no Embiid, or Saric in the fold next season, it's likely Philly will be in some trouble for 2014-15.

It's a lot to risk in potentially alienating the faithful. The rewards attached to these two first-rounders is enormous. They could be the foundation of a great young nucleus.

But, it is a monumental roll of the dice.

The Sixers got some decent value in the second round. McDaniels is a good defender who needs a lot of work offensively. Substitute "Grant" for "McDaniels" in the above sentence and it rings equally true.

Micic has plenty of upside. Jackson was great in the D-League last season and will most likely make the team next season.

It's almost impossible to adequately rate this draft. It's completely personal how you view this approach. I'm OK with it. They needed someone with superstar potential and that's Embiid.

GRADE: B

06/27 16:10:45 ET

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