Former GM Sam Hinkie on Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons’ trade talk:...

The Philadelphia 76ers have had a busy off-season with Doc Rivers as their new head coach and Daryl Morey as their new basketball president. After such disappointing endings in recent seasons and tremendous upheaval off the field in recent weeks, the noise about shaking up their squad has only increased.

There’s talk of moving one or both of Tobias Harris and Al Horford, each of whom were under-challenged in Philadelphia, but the more consequent discussion centers on two superstars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Questions about their fit have been asked for years, and the ongoing topic of conversation picked up again with Morey’s arrival.

But because everyone has been talking about this Sixers group for so long, most of the takes are just being recycled at this point. So what better time is there to get a new opinion from someone closer to Embiid and Co. than from anyone? That’s right, former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie. The creator of “The Process” gave a rare interview with Pablo Torre on ESPN Daily on Friday. During the podcast, he shared his thoughts on the Embiid and Simmons trade talks.

Torre: What do you think when all of you have rumors of ‘you know what, they have to swap this guy?’ Listen? ”

Hinkie: Oh God. Don’t people remember what it took to get them? For all. Getting a star into the NBA isn’t impossible, but it’s close. It either takes a tremendous amount of luck, or an incredible amount of time, or some other way to try. So what is Jo? 26? To have a young player who is nominally in prime in the traditional sense and says, “Oh, we have to be empty.” No, job one is you have to get great players on your team, and he is one.

And I’m not alone in that. You would refuse to believe we have to do anything and we have to do anything that requires you to possibly move a great player. They don’t move very much for a reason because people rightly don’t let them go very often for a reason.

Hinkie tries to be diplomatic so he’s not saying anything really interesting or explanatory here, but it’s pretty easy to read between the lines. In short, trading with both would be extremely stupid.

It frames the idea that Embiid and Simmons are elite talents, and you shouldn’t get rid of these types of players once you have them. It’s hard to argue with that point of view. While they don’t fit perfectly, it’s easier to get around the margins and find the right roleplayers than finding someone with Embiid or Simmons skills. Just because the Sixers couldn’t do that doesn’t negate the general point.

At the same time, you need to take into account Hinkie’s story on this subject. He was the one who started The Process, so obviously he’s not going to argue that the Sixers should trade the two biggest prizes from that time. That would contradict everything he worked for while leading the team.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what Morey does with this Sixers group and whether he follows the advice of his former colleague or steers the club in a brand new direction.

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