The Philadelphia 76ers have reminded their local fans how good they had it back in the days when they were going to the playoffs year after year as an eighth seed led by Andre Iguodala. Now they are looking at a long winded “process”. A D-League roster disguised as an NBA team is what they’re paying to watch live.
The only people that benefit from this winless nonsense is that the few people in Philly that don’t care about the 76ers but get to just ride the train to the arena with tickets that cost less than $10 upper level and less than $20 lower level and watch another team look good.
This process can’t be blamed solely on Sam Hinkie. The prequel of the travesty trilogy occurred when Hinkie’s predecessor Tony DiLeo traded Iguodala and other assets in a four-team trade for Andrew Bynum, who ruined more teams by not playing than helped teams by playing.
That trade brought Hinkie over from Daryl Morey’s evil empire of statistical overlords who believe in every athlete is like the tin man: fully functional but with no heart.
He first drafts point guard Michael Carter-Williams and in a season where he wins the Rookie of the Year Award (sign of progress?) around the same time he traded broken All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for the rights to draft the equally broken Nerlens Noel.
During that season where Carter-Williams was looking like the bright future, Hinkie jettisons veterans Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen and later Thaddeus Young for a bunch of second round picks, one first round pick and a guy named Shved.
The 2014 NBA Draft was highlighted by the selection of Joel Embiid, who has just as many foot surgeries as seasons in the league without making an appearance. Which is a shame because he’s really good on twitter.
Robert Covington was signed out of the D-League and is seen as a feel good story only because somebody in basketball has to get the points. Carter Williams was traded last season to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade for the Phoenix Suns’ protected first-round pick that they acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in the Steve Nash trade. Because the Lakers ended up with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Sixers never got to use it.
We’re three seasons and three drafted centers in and all we have in Philly is a glorified Enes Kanter in Jahil Okafor, a 6-11 “power forward” who can only be expected to get just enough to qualify for a double-double, a feel good D-League story who is really not a part of the “process”, and a diamond in the rough rookie point guard who his head coach compares to Cleveland Cavaliers reserve Matthew Dellavedova.
When does the “process” end? Or better yet, when does it begin? How many centers do Hinkie have to draft before he finally decides to try to win? How many players will be discarded after their spirit is broken by playing for the Sixers? How many local columnists have to write pleas to management to just look like they freakin’ care?
For what it’s worth, LSU freshman forward Ben Simmons is only one inch shorter than Noel.