Sam Hinkie took over as general manager before the 2013 NBA draft. He inherited a roster that can barely get you to 40 wins. The roster consisted of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, and Spencer Hawes as the main players. Hinkie understood more than anybody how to build a team for long sustainable success. With a plan in place to get as many chances at top lottery picks by losing at historic rates and keeping the payroll low ensuring maximum flexibility for roster moves. You can’t do this by barely getting into the playoffs, receiving middle draft picks, and trading for aging veterans.
Hinkie used a combination of hoarding second round picks, taking on contracts teams were desperate to unload and picking up a lottery bust (Nik Stauskas) who is getting playing time. He needs to improve and not be on a team in Sacramento, where young players develop poorly. He also signed low level players like Robert Covington. Who turned into a legitimate starter at small-forward, for an incredible bargain. The Sixers striking gold with Covington, proves the theory of having 7-8 replacement level players at once on a team that was already going to be historically bad is actually a positive. Dario Saric has finally arrived. He is ready to be a small-forward/stretch 4 who shows above average passing ability. For a player at 6:10, a 40% catch and shoot player from three, and a great cutter to the basket he uses his frame to take long strides to the basket making it harder to keep up with him.
Nerlens Noel started a potential controversy in pre-season by saying “we have three centers that can all play 30 minutes a game and we need to make a trade to move one of us”. Noel is right, the Sixers should make a trade and that would be to ship Noel out of town. Noel is a valuable young asset who can provide a shot blocking presence that is tough to match in the league. What the Sixers need the most is a shooting guard to go along with #1 overall pick Ben Simmons. What is stopping the Celtics from calling Philly to offer Kelly Olynyk and Avery Bradley for Noel? Does Philly say no to that trade? Philly would get one of the best defensive shooting guards in the league who can also shoot the three.What more could you ask for?
5 Things to look forward to as a Sixers Fan
1. Finally having the pleasure to watch Joel Embiid on the court. Embiid is a monster on defense and is a shot blocking nightmare and also possesses a terrific 15 foot jump shot.
2. The excitement of Ben Simmons playing his first game after he recovers from a broken bone in his foot. Too bad for all NBA fans we will have to wait 3 months for this.
3. Fans all season chanting “Thank you Hinkie clap clap clap clap clap” so loud, that management has to listen while regretting having Jerry Colangelo as the GM now.
4. Getting the chance to make fun of Brooklyn fans who’s team has done the opposite in constructing there player base. They saw quite well what happens when you try to win a title in 1 season with old aging veterans while giving up all of your future assets.
5. Knowing this organization has 2 chances at receiving the #1 overall pick in the widely talented 2017 NBA draft. Philly has the right to swap picks with Sacramento and of course their own lottery pick. Philly would receive the Lakers pick if it falls outside of the top 3. How is Hinkie the worst GM in NBA history again?
Expect to see a big improvement from 10 wins a season ago, even with Simmons missing a good chunk of the season. The Sixers will finish with a 30-52 record and not make the playoffs. This team will make the leap in the 2017-2018 season and make the playoffs then start the destruction of the Eastern Conference.
Article written by Nicholas Lane NBA Correspondent for the Rat Pack
Contact Nicholas Lane on twitter @nlaneholdemAA