It has been pretty quiet at Sixers camp since Hinkie’s hiring. And because of the silence, no one seems to have much of an idea exactly what direction the team is going to go on many fronts — including the 2013 NBA Draft.
However, if we are looking for a clue as to what moves the Sixers could possibly make on June 27th 2013, we may want to ask ourselves, “What Would Houston Do?” Or W.W.H.D. for short
Hinkie was one of the members of the brain trust that was at the helm of Houston’s draft board for the past six seasons, so taking a look at trends that occurred during his tenure with the Rockets could provide the most insight as to what Hinkie may do during his first draft as the 76ers head man.
Take a minute to look down the list of Houston’s draft picks since 2007:
2007: Aaron Brooks (Rd. 1); Brad Newley (Rd. 2)
2008: Nicolas Batum (Rd. 1); Maarty Leunen (Rd. 2)
2009: **HOU had no picks but via trades landed Jermaine Taylor (Rd. 2); Chase Budinger (Rd. 2); Sergio Lull (Rd. 2)
2010: Patrick Patterson (Rd. 1)
2011: Marcus Morris (Rd. 1); Nikola Mitrotic (Rd. 1); Chandler Parsons (Rd. 2)
2012: Jeremy Lamb (Rd. 1); Royce White (Rd. 1); Terrence Jones (Rd. 1);
After the jump, I’ll analyze a couple of items that leap out almost immediately from that list.
First, it appears Hinkie is attracted to international players, as Houston used a host of picks to draft or acquire players from overseas, several of whom have yet to actually play in the NBA. In July 2007 they traded a 2nd round pick and other considerations to San Antonio for Louis Scola from Spain. They also drafted Brad Newley from Australia in 2007, followed by Nic Batum from France in 2008 and traded for the draft rights to Sergio Llull from Spain in 2009. Nikola Mirotic from Spain was selected in 2011 and they acquired Turkey’s Furken Aldemir from the LAC during the 2012 Draft. Both have yet to make the trip over to the NBA.
This shows that Hinkie is unafraid of dipping into the international talent pool, even if it doesn’t pay immediate dividends. This year’s draft has several intriguing international players such as Dario Saric and Rudy Gobert, and maybe Hinkie is keen to consider players along these lines. Although going international was somewhat successful in Houston, the Sixers need immediate help and one can only hope that Hinkie doesn’t spend a top pick on an international prospect.
Another thing that stands out from Hinkie’s Houston draft days is the fact that he likes to stock up on picks, and is unafraid to move them. Houston was on the search for a superstar for several seasons, and the front office used a plethora of picks and trades to finally land and sign James Harden last season. It took their newest first round pick, a starting shooting guard, and future first and second round picks for Harden to be had; one can only assume that he will employ a similar philosophy in Philly. Houston had six first round picks between 2010-2012 and the only one that remains on the Rockets’ roster is Terrance Jones. So it may be difficult to determine if a pick is made to be part of the future of the franchise, or as an asset in an attempt to sign a star.
Lastly, Houston was able to take advantage of their second round picks and find some solid NBA players in the League’s latter round. Although some picks were used on prospects as is often the case with late picks, Carl Landry, Chase Budinger, and Chandler Parsons highlight Houston’s second round picks during the Hinkie era. The Sixers have two second round picks this year, numbers 35 & 42, so I would expect Hinkie to be well-prepared to add an impact player at those draft positions.
If the 11th overall pick isn’t spent on an international player, expect one of the second rounders to be; maybe Livio Jean-Charles from France, or even Gobert if he drops that far. The other pick might be spent on a proven college player like Kansas’ Jeff Withey or Syracuse’s James Southerland.
It will be interesting to see how Hinkie handles his first draft as the basketball brains of Sixers, and if his plan is anything like the one he employed in Houston than complacency shouldn’t be expected.