DRAFT14: Hinkiepalooza II = Mixed Emotions

Posted by: C. Smith
06/27/14 11:20 am EST

samhinkiepressereditedHere’s the way I look at Sam Hinkie and the 76ers 2014 NBA Draft:

You have been dating a woman for a significant period of time — let’s say 9 months.   She has some issues that need work, but overall the gal is cool.  There have been some bumps in the road along the way.  However, as a whole things have gone fairly well and you really like the long term potential of the relationship.

As you approach the relationship’s one year anniversary (June 2013 to June 2014) you plan a special night for the two of you.  It has been communicated to you (although not verbally) that she too is excited about this big happening (Draft night 2014) and that your loyalty and time over the last year will be greatly rewarded.

The night goes perfectly and as you arrive back at your place, she heads into the bedroom to change into something “more comfortable”.  When she returns your gal has on flannel pajamas.  Next she heads to the fridge and grabs a pint of ice cream.  Then she plops on the couch and puts on a chic flick.


Needless to say you have mixed emotions.  On the one hand, you’re getting no satisfaction tonight (Freakin’ tease).  You’re also confused as to what just happened and whether or not the two of you are on the same page at all.  On the other, you still have this great woman and you’re in a seemingly solid relationship with tons of long term potential.

Below is a look at the mixed emotions last night’s Draft14 produced for me…


The long view, hoop head in me realizes the following:

— The Sixers were horrific last year and will be awful in 2014-15, but at least they’re awful with a defined plan.  That’s something we haven’t been able to say in 15 years and most teams in the League can’t boast.

— Sam Hinkie turned Jrue Holiday into three 1st round draft picks. I was a big supporter of “The Jruth” but I have to say that the end game Hinkie achieved on that deal was simply genius.

— At No. 3, Hinkie was able to pick up the most talented, highest rated player in the Draft who also has the greatest “upside” without trading a single asset.  While there is no doubt that Embiid’s injury history makes taking him at No. 3 a bold and risky move that could backfire if Embiid wears a suit more often than a uniform, at least Hinkie took the gamble without going “all in”.

— The trade with Orlando for Dario Saric allowed Hinkie to get the player he really coveted at No. 10 and pick up an additional 1st round draft pick in 2017.  Yet another asset is added to Hinkie’s bag of magic tricks.

— When Dario Saric is done ballin’ in Turkey and returns to the 76ers, MCW, a hopefully healthy Embiid and Nerlens Noel will all be 23 years old. They will then have a couple years of experience under their belt and the Sixers will have $40 million in cap space to attract a free agent or two to Philadelphia.

— The players Hinkie got at #32 (KJ McDaniels) and #39 (Jerami Grant) were great values who may make the roster for 2014-15.


The knee jerk reacting 76ers fan inside me has the following rants: 

— The Sixers did absolutely nothing last night to get better for the 2014-15 opener. I’m not saying we had to take huge leaps at Darft14, but some small step to improve in 2014-15 would have been nice. With an injured Embiid likely sitting out all of 2014-15 and Saric playing in Turkey next year (and likely one more), the dreaded “double tank” is officially on. Thus, the 76ers will be the laughing stock of the League again next season.  It was very difficult to deal with last season and I am not sure I can handle a replay in 2014-15.  If you are interested in NBA betting, bet that the 76ers don’t win more than 20 games in 2014-15.

— You cannot rebuild forever.  At some point you have to give the appearance like winning matters as much as “gathering assets”.  Follow me for a minute…You need to win a good deal of your games to qualify for the NBA Playoffs. You need to be in the Playoffs to have a chance at making the NBA Finals.  You need to be in the NBA Finals in order to compete for the Larry O’Brien trophy.  The 76ers are at least 2 years away from the winning enough games to make the playoffs, so how many years will it be before they compete for a championship?

— The most irrelevant sports franchise in this town just got more irrelevant. The 7-6 are currently the fourth most important sports story in this town and last night could have been the launching point for their push to become relevant again. Instead, the franchise gained no momentum from an NBA Draft in which it had not one, but two, picks in the Top 10.  That’s soooo Sixers.

— Can you imagine having to work in ticket sales for this team?  Do you think marketing guru Scott O’Neil is in the fetal position this morning wondering why he took a job with the 76ers?  I wouldn’t want either of those gigs right now.

— The 76ers were simply brutal to watch on offense in 2013-14 and statistically were among the worst offensive teams in the history of the NBA history.  Featured in the Sixers’ historically woeful offense was the worst 3-point shooting percentage in the Association (31.2%).  Yet, Hinkie chose not to draft a single player who can score the ball or shoot the three for this team next year.

— Hinkie drafted Joel Embiid (who clearly was not happy about the 76ers picking him), an athletic, injury prone and defense-first/offensively raw, 7-foot center when he already has Nerlens Noel (an athletic, injury prone and defense-first/offensively raw, 7-foot center) on his roster.

— The 76ers perimeter defense was beyond pathetic last season, but instead of drafting a SG or SF who can defend and score some, Hinkie selected an injured, 7-foot, shot blocking center and a Croatian small forward who is a defensive liability.


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9 Responses to “DRAFT14: Hinkiepalooza II = Mixed Emotions”

  1. Matt
    27. June 2014 at 11:56

    Hinkie added a couple years onto the rebuild last night.

    For a team that needed almost everything, he somehow drafted something they already have.

    I’ve seen people saying Noel and Embiid can co-exist, but I’m not buying it. There’s not enough room in the lane for two long 7-foot centers to play at the same time.

    The center position is also becoming totally irrelevant in today’s NBA.

    Building championship teams around a dominant center is not feasible anymore. The last championship team that had a center who was even the second-best player on the team was Miami in 2006.

    Today’s NBA is a shooting guard/small forward-driven league. The two biggest holes on the Sixers are shooting guard and small forward.

    In what people are calling the best/deepest draft in 10 years, neither of those needs were addressed at all.

    My biggest problem with the draft is not that the Sixers are going to suck next year. The Sixers were always going to suck next year. They needed to suck next year.

    If they made the playoffs and lost next year’s first rounder, it would have been disastrous. But even with Wiggins they weren’t making the playoffs.

    Next year’s team will win less games than last year. It’ll be an extension of the post-trade deadline team that got blown out every night.

    Next year we get to look forward to another year of unwatchable basketball. The biggest difference is there is no Wiggins/Parker shining a light the end of the tunnel.

    Even if the new best case scenario happens, the tank works this time and the Sixers end up with the #1 pick, the projected top prospect is Jahlil Okafor — another center

  2. Alex
    27. June 2014 at 15:51

    I absolutely agree with what you said about Hinki’s strategy in the first part of your article. Being a Fan I also was not happy last night since Sixers could have had some immediate help instead of trying to be awful next season or two in a perpetual re-building mode. I was so against Embiid at 3 that I screamed when they took him but since I have come down and tried not to get too emption and be realistic. But looking at it now, I realize Sixers were the winner last night. Apart from drafting two first rounder in the second round, they got two players that even though they will not play right away both worth waiting for. Remember Sam is not looking for being a 42-45 win playoff team and exit in the first round. He has a bigger fish to fry and that takes at least 2 to 3 years.

  3. Go after Wiggins
    27. June 2014 at 21:04

    I believe we drafted what was given to us. I might have taken Gordan at 3 and I thought the 10th pick and trade was a very smart move by Mr. Hinkie. Gordan will be a really good NBA player. Unfortunately we need shooters on this team and I liked Stauskus at 10, but the draft went the way I thought. The first nine players I predicted in a reply I sent weeks ago. Now what do we do from this point forward… Two players I would target now are Klay Thompson and Gordan Hayward. I remember watching Gordan Hayward play against Davidson in Davidson when Curry was there. I thought Hayward was a better player then when he wasn’t known and I believe he is a better player now. Go after Hayward. He will spread the offense. With Golden State eyeing Love, maybe we can work ourselves into the mix. Maybe send Saric and Young to Minnesota – Golden State sends us Lee and Thompson – Golden State also gives Minnesota their 1st pick next year – Minnesota signs and trades Love to Golden State. Lee’s contract stinks and Thompson has only one more year on his contract. The Sixers immediately gets better and depending on how well Noel and Embiid are… they could be really good for years to come.
    Lineup –

    Shelvin Mack

  4. Tony
    27. June 2014 at 21:20

    ^ Matt, great point about the league not being centered around centers! That’s what has me most upset about hinkie’s philosophy, not the long-term timetable of it (although that’s a close 2nd).

    I really didn’t want another gimpy, suit-wearing center on the roster (3-in-a-row! It’s like Chinese water torture at this point!), but when Embiid was selected, I trusted the sixers medical staff, as usual, and calmly waited for an SG or SF to be selected at #10.

    And then my jaw dropped when Saric ended up as a the next pick. Not that I wouldn’t love Saric in Philly, but how many freakin front court players does a team need?!!?

    And then the 2nd round picks… Great values, filling the positions they need, but still not shot creators. Ahhhhh.

    Basically, the sixers will be the longest, tallest, most athletic team in the NBA, but not a single player who can shoot OR handle the rock (MCW’s handles are mediocre at best).

    Sure, offense can be addressed in free agency, but philly won’t be ready to make that move for at least 4 years. (They’ll probably move the team to Seattle by then).

    On top of all that drafting by value, not need… the value of all these injured/foreign picks could end up being absolutely ZERO!!!! But we won’t know that truth for years…

  5. johnny w
    27. June 2014 at 22:16

    Yes I agree with both the article and the comments. All in all was a good night once I sat back and processed it all. My only thing was the 10 pick? I was hoping for Doug McDermott or Gary Harris maybe but we’ll see. I have a feeling they may try and hurry Dario Sacic over little earlier.

    Lots of HYPE with WIGGINS this year…sure he has a vertical but half the guys in the NBA dunk contest I never heard of? lol I’m hoping our destine pick Joel Embiid turns out to become a NBA great!

    Going to be tough driving to the basket with NOEL/JOEL!!! jw

  6. Ray
    27. June 2014 at 22:23

    There is one important issue you two forgot to mention. Two years ago there was another “injured” center that was going to be the face of the franchise for years to come, but didn’t play for the Sixers. Remember Andrew Bynam? This will be the third straight year that a center (Bynam, Noel, and now Embiid) will not play for all or most of the season. Also didn’t we learn anything from the injury-prone Greg Oden. In college he had health issues that prevented him from being an NBA starter. On top of that, Hinke didn’t even throw the fan base a bone by giving us a first rounder that we could watch next year while we’re waiting for Joel to recuperate!!! Yes, with or without Embiid the Sixers will suck next year and longer, but stockpiling firsts and second round draft picks doesn’t equal Superstars or Championships!!!

  7. johnny W
    29. June 2014 at 22:07

    I have some food for thought…Did anybody consider who ever was left of the big THREE influences our 10 pick. …maybe if Wiggins or Parker had fallen to the 3rd pick then maybe Hinkiemonster takes Gary Harris or Doug McDermott or somebody in a win quicker scenario…so when he see’s Joel Embiid the whole time table changes. When you stop and think, it makes sense…kinda did what we had to do.

    Next year starting five looks something like this: MCW and Jason Richardson backcourt and Noel Norlens, K.J. McDaniels and Thad Young as our front court. You can pretty much figure the bench, we will be much better than last year period!!!

    Everybody witnessed what Hinkiemonster did with a 11 pick last year. Can’t wait to see what Grant, Jackson, McDaniels and McCrae can do on the court.

    Thoughts like there’s no room in the NBA for big 7′ centers anymore is ludicrous. I’m sure if another SHAQ or JABAAR came around they’d go number one in any era…jw

  8. RYN_JAY
    30. June 2014 at 01:34


    There is a first rounder for us to watch while Joel gets healthy. His name is Nerlens.

  9. No EL!
    30. June 2014 at 02:46

    Of course the ten pick was genius. Stash that guy and we get a our first back and a two. But you can’t come out of the “deepest draft class in a decade” with potentially nothing. Nothing! I’d rather the problem of two point guards than to injury prone centers. Damn I wanted Exum… Anyway, my point is this, we needed one starter from this draft instead we got the next would be number one pick if he wasn’t injured with a could be calamitous injury.

    Cross your fingers Noel and Embiid are strong healers…

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