The product of those years of decision-making brought a bunch of players to the city who have built a special connection with the fanbase, even if they don’t have the same star-level talent as Embiid. Hinkie discussed a bunch of his former players who he remains a big fan of — he raved about former Rockets guard Kyle Lowry — and did a decent enough job of summing up why the fans love a scrapper like McConnell. Hinkie: “I have a special place in my heart for a lot of the players we had in Philly, some of which are still there. Joel Embiid and I are still close, I love him and watch on pins and needles when he plays without his mask or something silly happens. T.J. McConnell I love and sort of what he stands for, Robert Covington I love, everywhere he’s been … I like people who have big dreams for themselves in whatever package they’re in, and trying to outkick their coverage and overachieve.”
Exec weighs in: “Three years, that’s the big number. They’re going to want a draft pick in a package for him, and there aren’t a lot of teams that are going to include possibly good picks or young players for a guy who is kind of a square peg in today’s league. It’s not saying DeRozan doesn’t have value, it’s just that you’d have to adjust your whole offense for him. You can’t just stick him on the Pelicans, for example, because he wouldn’t pair up with Anthony Davis well. There’s too many obstacles.”
Storyline: DeMar DeRozan Trade?