Hinkie himself has even taken a few trips south from Philadelphia himself to the see Joelle play.
“This is the kind of player we really like,” said Hinkie. “Young, tons of upside, but someone many teams will likely pass over because of his injury issues. If we can get him in the 2020 draft, and them throw him into the mix with some of our other big men who will probably be playing by then, we could really have something.”
The 7th grader missed many of his junior high and summer league games this year due to the pain his scoliosis causes. Doctors are unsure if sports are possible for him longterm.
“I love the sport and I want to play,” said Joelle. “At least the pain in my back is so bad that it makes me forget the nagging aches in my knees and feet. I haven’t told anyone about those yet because I don’t want to sound like a complainer.”
The Sixers believe that Joelle could be the best player in the 2020 draft if he works through his injuries.
“He still has years to grow,” said Hinkie. “He could be 6-10 or 7-feet, easy. And then if you straighten out his spine, we’re talking close to 8-feet. It would be insane not to lose on purpose for the next six years to get a shot at this kid.”
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