According to sources, the new General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers was patrolling the team’s war room at PCOM last night like a general on the front lines of battle. In fact, one Western Conference front office executive described Hinkie and the Sixers as “crazy active” last night.
It’s not going to be pretty next season, but the Sixers organization took a monumental step in the right direction towards building a legitimate contender — several years down the road.
Yes, losing Jrue Holiday, a 23-year-old All-Star point guard is devastating. Yes, if Hinkie’s Draft night went completely to plan, he would have dealt Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes out of the City of Brotherly Love. And yes, the Sixers are going SUCK next season.
But sometimes you have to tear everything down before you can build it back up.
The Sixers were very close to sending a package with a nucleus of Thad and the No. 11 pick to Sacramento for a package in return with a nucleus of DeMarcus Cousins and the No. 7 pick in last night’s Draft. Hinkie and Co. also worked extensively and “like hell,” according to a source, to deal Turner in order to get into the mid to back end of the first round. Golden State and Denver are possible teams that could have been trading partners.
Even though none of that happened, Hinkie has made his point: nobody is safe and this roster is about to be demolished.
With Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams and Arsalan Kazemi and Rodney Williams — the team inked Williams as an undrafted free agent according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports — now headed to Philly, the direction is clear. The Sixers have a legitimate shot at having two lottery picks in a loaded 2014 NBA Draft class and possibly four second rounders in next year’s Draft as well through their series of second round trades.
Depending on where New Orleans finishes next season, the Sixers will likely have the Pelicans’ first round pick as it’s at best only Top-5 protected, as reported. A team with Holiday, Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon probably won’t be a bottom-five team in the League.
The future is certainly not now, but it definitely is on the horizon. If Nerlens can come back for the second half of the regular season and show legitimate flashes, the Sixers and their two first round picks from both ’13 and ’14 could even potentially be a destination for some free agents in the loaded class that will be on the market in the Summer of 2014.
Like it or not, the Sixers are finally going into a concentrated direction. They have an action plan and won’t just be throwing together players and putting them on the court with the next coach they can find (like they did for the past five years). We all used to know the Sixers as a team that just hoped for the best each season. Now it’s time to sit back, relax and trust what Hinkie is cooking up in Philly.
He’s arrived, and I bet he slept pretty damn well last night.
Jake Fischer is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeLFischer
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