The 2015 NBA Draft is on the horizon, and Philadelphia 76ers fans are anticipating draft night with as much as excitement as they ever have since general manager Sam Hinkie came to the throne. Draft night has been the symbol of finding the next group of players to lead the Sixers out of the tanking process and into relevancy. Critics have bashed Hinkie for making the Sixers the laughing stock of the NBA, while drafting players who cannot play their first season due to injury or international contracts. After two years of tanking, it’s time for the Sixers to put a legitimate NBA roster onto the court for 82 games, and that will start on draft night.
Predicting Sam Hinkie is not possible. It can not be done. Hinkie sits back at his press conferences and gives the media concise answers that never reveal his exactly what he is concocting in his brain. The Sixers have to improve the quality of their roster. Hinkie accepts that fact. However, the means at which the roster improves is where Hinkie and the public agrees or disagrees. We simply cannot know.
All sources, reports, and logic points to the Sixers selecting Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell with the third overall pick, if he is still available for the picking. “He’s the guy they want,” an NBA executive anonymously stated to reporters. “That’s the word around the league. You know the Sixers. They won’t come out and say it, but he’s the guy they want.”
There is only one problem with that accusation: only Sam Hinkie knows what Sam Hinkie wants. Right now the Sixers have a potential big man duo in Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid who could replicate the “Twin Towers” of the 1980s Houston Rockets in Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson. Hinkie very well could trade Noel, Embiid, or both if he feels he needs to in order to better the Sixers’ roster.
Would trading both Embiid and Noel be absolutely insane? Most likely. But Hinkie has made his fame as the Sixers’ GM for moves that cause an initial scratch of the head. That’s what has caused much anticipation for the upcoming draft.
Sure, predicting what Hinkie is going to do is thrilling and eventful because of all the possible combination of moves, but there is not one valid Sixers mock draft in existence. With other NBA general managers, the stars align and one can see which player will be wearing that team’s uniform if he is still on the board when said team is on the clock. Hinkie is the opposite. D’Angelo Russell is the assumed pick for now, but now there are reports swirling that the Sixers are interested in Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis, adding to the Hinkie madness.
Only Sam Hinkie knows the Sixers’ mock draft, and he is bound to pull off a move like no other come draft night; and that move could very well be drafting Porzingis over Russell.
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