If you think back to June 27th, 2013 – a.k.a. Draft Night 2013 – you may remember that in addition to the shocking, Jrue Holiday to New Orleans, mega-trade that Sam Hinkie pulled off, the Sixers’ new GM also executed several minor deals involving second round draft prospects.
In all, “Hinkie-palooza” (As we dubbed that night of crazy trading action Sam produced.) saw the Sixers trade for or select four different players that the franchise no longer holds the rights on. They were here one moment and gone the next.
After the jump I’ll take a look at what these four players have accomplished in their basketball careers since being used like pawns during “Hinkie-palooza” by the 7-6’s forward thinking GM.
Glen Rice Jr. – Hinkie selected Rice with the 35th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and then traded the D-League product to Wizards. So far this season Rice has only appeared in 7 games for the Wiz and is averaging 1.6 ppg. His “breakout” performance came on December 2nd when he contributed 5 points in a double digit win over Orlando.
Pierre Jackson – Hinkie selected Jackson, who led the Big 12 in scoring (19.8 per game) and assists (7.1 per game) during his senior year at Baylor, 42nd overall. Jackson was minor part in the blockbuster Draft Night trade that sent All-Star guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans. With Holiday, NBA veterans Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon as well as former 1st round pick Austin Rivers already penciled into key roles, Jackson entered a crowded backcourt situation in New Orleans.
Numerous reports surfaced late last summer that Jackson was leaving the Pelicans to sign overseas with ASVEL Villeurbanne in France. Apparently things didn’t work out so well in France, because his name was entered in the this year’s NBA D-League Draft and on November 1st, 2013, the Idaho Stampede selected Pierre Jackson with the fourth overall pick in the first round.
In three games with the Stampede, Jackson is averaging 27 ppg; 4.7 apg. and 3.7 rpg. The fast, athletic and lethal scoring combo guard has quickly becoming one of the hottest prospects in the D-League. But New Orleans still owns his rights and unless there is an injury to one of the Pelicans’ guards, I don’t see how he can crack their lineup.
Nate Wolters – Wolters was taken 38th overall by the Wizards and Hinkie acquired the rights to the PG from South Dakota State in the deal with Washington for Gen Rice, Jr. that also brought Arsalan Kazemi (54th overall pick) to the Sixers. At the time, I loved this move for Wolters (and Kazemi). A number of scouts I had talked with were high on the 6-4 Wolters who was one of the best mid-major players in the country during 2012-13. Additionally, I felt he would be a good fit for the Sixers as a backup PG who could score – if not this year than down the road. But the Sixers had other ideas. Hinkie-palooze continued and Wolters wasn’t with the Sixers for very long. The 76ers new GM quickly traded his rights to the Milwaukee Bucks for the No. 43 pick, Ricky Ledo.
Of all the players the Sixers held the rights to on Draft Night 2013, Wolters has had the biggest impact in the NBA so far this season. Pressed into service because of injuries in Milwaukee, the rookie has started 7 games for the Bucks and is averaging 26 ticks per night. Wolters has been good for 7.4 points and 4.4 assist in his 14 appearances in 2013-14. The slick point man had a game in early November where he scored 14 points and another run last month where he handed out 10 assists. However, with Luke Ridnour and Brandon Knight now back in the lineup for the Bucks, Wolters has received the dreaded DNP- CD in Milwaukee’s last three games.
Ricky Ledo – This is another prospect I will be keeping an eye on for years to come as I really liked the move Hinkie made to acquire Ledo (SG/SF) and I was frustrated when the Sixers chose not to hold onto his rights. Ledo, a 6-6, athletic scorer was traded to Mavs for a 2014 2nd round pick. Ledo made the Dallas roster and signed a four-year contract which suggests the Mavs’ have made a commitment to developing him. Ledo has averaged 1.2 points in 2.6 minutes in six appearances for the Mavs so far this season. However, the swingman was recently assigned to the Mavericks D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends.
In his debut with the Legends, Ledo scored 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, grabbed 5 rebounds, tied for the team lead with 3 assists, and added 2 steals. In his second game with the Legends Ledo cooled off a bit, scoring only 13 points thanks to hitting only 6-20 from the field and 1-7 from three.
We will continue to keep you posted on these players as the NBA season moves along.
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