Hinkie’s team: The Philadelphia 2016ers
The draft was thought and created to be a system that would transmit the league some evenness amidst teams. As the game became more analytical itself with journalists and coaches analyzing every single detail, every touch, every rotation, percentages and efficiencies, the General Managers and Owners started being more pragmatic and started to pursue championships with their minds instead of their instincts or feelings.
No one ever thought… ok, maybe someone did think about it… but no one ever really thought that a franchise would have the courage, and permission by the owners, to implode a team and keep imploding it for 3 straight years, so they would be able to be Top 3 draft pickers constantly. The fans wouldn’t allow it, right? The TV deals wouldn’t allow it, right? The players are too competitive and their careers are too short for them to waste few years in a assumed losing team like that, right? Well, I know, logic has no logic in this case.
The Philadelphia 76ers, house of Doctor J, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Darryl Dawkins are now a team who mastered themselves in losing. Can you imagine one of those four names being a top pick landing in Philadelphia and having to buy into the tanking thing? Heads would roll, that’s my guess. But that’s the part of the process, they say.
Let’s recapitulate. 2013 draft, Sam Hinkie plan starts and so he trades Jrue Holiday on draft night for Pelicans top 5 protected 2014 pick and Nerlens Noel (who was injured). On the 11th position the Sixers selected future rookie of the year, Michael Carter Williams. Later that year at trade deadline, the Sixers traded Evan Turner, Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes for five second round picks (!!!) and Henry Sims (who?). At the end of the season they traded Thaddeus Young for Miami’s Top 10 (2015) protected pick. Looks like Saturday morning and the house is all fresh and clean in Philadelphia.
2013-2014, after a non-disappointing 19-63 season the Sixers had the 3rd pick on the draft and they selected Joel Embiid. All good but the injury. That’s fine… Don’t panic. They had the 10th position as well and they selected Elfrid Payton. Looks good now. This kid does a bit of everything, jump shot looks a bit broken, but hey, you can work on it. Oh wait, the Sixers just traded for Dario Saric and it looks like he’s going to stay over Europe, so equals zero on short term. Same draft, second round at the 32nd, the Sixers pick KJ McDaniels. One thing is certain: this kid is athletic. Ok, could be a good one….but he got traded mid-season to the Rockets in exchange of Isiah Canaan. That’s a confusing draft.
2014-2015 season: 18-64 and they’re going to the draft again with the 3rd pick once again and they went for Jahlil Okafor. Alright, good one. And they kept him. And he’s not injured. And he stayed in the US. And Noel, he’s finally back. Embiid and Saric not so much but that’s fine.
As I write this, the Sixers are 0-15. If we count last season games they’re on a 0-25 streak. They’re the only winless team in the league, by far. But you know what? Ben Simmons is coming. Sorry, I meant 2016 draft is coming. And do you remember all the assets the they’ve been trading away for nothing in short term? That’s right, a ton of picks in the next draft.
The Sixers could have two of the Top 4 picks in the 2016 Draft (smells like Simmons) and four of the Top picks total if everything eventually will go on their way. That’s a huge if, but there’s a possibility. They currently have their own pick, the Los Angeles Lakers’ selection (which is top-three protected), the Miami HEAT’s selection (which is top 10 protected) that I told you before and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s selection (which is top 15 protected).
So picture this: Okafor, Noel, Embiid, Saric, Simmons, Jammal Murray (or Kris Dunn), Stauskas, Jerami Grant and two more first round picks. Picture this after some maturation over, let’s say, four seasons.
NBA history tells us that most of the teams were able to rebuild through draft by having just one or if lucky two Top 3 draft prospects. There’s many examples: ’69 Bucks got Kareem; ’79 Lakers got Magic; 84 Rockets got Olajuwon; 84 Bulls got Jordan; ’97 Spurs got Duncan.
My point is: the 2016 sixers will eventually have 4 Top 3 picks?? That’s ridiculous.
It could be possible that in few years we’ll be calling Sam Hinkie a visionary, by now he’s just the main target why the Sixers are unwatchable and their record is 37-142 since 2013-14.