In the beginning of the 2013-2014 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers started off 3-0 with wins over the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, and Chicago Bulls who still had Derrick Rose at the time. A team that was supposed to be in tanking mode looked liked a playoff team, but since then the Sixers have been brought back down to planet Earth. This was expected of course, there was no chance that the Sixers would keep up their winning ways. Sam Hinkie, Sixers GM, has benefited the most throughout this 15-34 season the Sixers have put together so far.
Philadelphia is known as one of the toughest sports cities in America because the fans do not accept losing. However, the fans are loving the position Sam Hinkie has put their Sixers in for the future. It is one thing to have a losing team as a GM without a plan, but it is a completely different situation when you have a plan. Sam Hinkie has a plan and that plan has been brilliant so far. His plan is pretty simple: value draft picks and lose games in order to use those draft picks to build a championship caliber team.
Unlike Ruben Amaro Jr., who is the GM of the Philadelphia Phillies, Hinkie is making moves to benefit his team. Those moves have clearly led to more losses then wins, but in the future, the moves Hinkie is making now will lead to more wins then losses. With the NBA trade deadline approaching, expect Sam Hinkie to make moves to acquire more draft picks or players that will help the Sixers lose.
Evan Turner has been at the center of attention for the Sixers trade talks. There have been multiple reports on Turner’s trade status. Some say that Hinkie will not trade Turner by the deadline, while others give various destinations for the Sixers’ swing-man. Possible suitors for Evan Turner include the Bobcats, Mavericks, Hawks, Thunder and Suns. If one of these teams offers a solid deal, Hinkie should jump on it.
Out of the possible destinations for Turner, the Suns deal would be the best, even if the Sixers would have to give up Thad Young in the process. The possible deal with Phoenix would result in the Sixers receiving Emeka Okafor and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ first round pick in exchange for Turner and Young. Since the Suns are loaded with draft picks, other deals could be worked out, but this one is appealing. Not only would the Sixers be receiving another potential lottery pick, giving them three total (their own pick and the Pelicans’ pick), but they would also be getting the expiring contract of Emeka Okafor.
The Sixers already have a boat load of cap space and with acquiring another lottery pick that money could be used to bring in solid bench players to back up a young starting lineup. Of course there is the possibility that the guys drafted by the Sixers do not turn out to be NBA starters, but with the way Hinkie is shaping this team up, star NBA players are going to want to start coming to Philadelphia.
In Evan Turner’s case, it is in Hinkie’s best interest to trade him now while his draft stock is at its all time high. He’s making game-winning plays and looks like an All-Star with the team that the Sixers are putting on the floor. Even if Hinkie cannot get a draft pick in a deal with Turner, he should still look to move him if he would be getting an expiring contract for a player that would help the Sixers lose more games.
Evan Turner’s game does not fit into a Sixers team that Sam Hinkie is looking to put on the floor. Statistically, the worst shot in basketball is a contested mid-range jumper. The highest percentage shots come from inside the paint and from beyond the arc. With Turner being a swing-man, he mostly plays on the perimeter with the occasional slash to the basket. Where does Turner usually shoot from? Mid-range while being contested. Where does Turner struggle to shoot from? Beyond the arc; shoots an abysmal 28%. Point being, Evan Turner is not a Sam Hinkie guard. A Sam Hinkie guard is one that can chuck threes at will while having the ability to get to the rack, even though Turner does possess the ability to get to the rack.
Whether Sam Hinkie trades Evan Turner or not is remained to be seen. Either way, Sam Hinkie will be active as the deadline nears. If Turner is not moved, expect a smaller deal where players with cheap contracts are brought in to help the Sixers lose.
Watching the Sixers this year has not been tough. They are an exciting group of young players who leave it all out on the court, even though they turn the ball over a lot and do not play defense. The Sixers currently sit at 15-34 with the third worst record in the NBA, and the New Orleans Pelicans are 20-27 with a great chance of ending up among the league’s 10 worst, giving the Sixers two top-ten picks in a stacked draft class.
Sam Hinkie’s genius continues to show with the results on the court fitting well with how the draft is shaping up. The future is bright Philadelphia, get excited.
Image Source: Monetate.com