In Hinkie We Trust.
This has been the mantra Sixers fans have used ever since Sam Hinkie made his presence known at the 2013 NBA Draft when he sent Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans. At the time, many fans were pretty upset and rightfully so. Holiday was the only All-Star on the team, the player some were anticipating the new GM would rebuild the Sixers around. Instead he shipped him off to the franchise with the worst name in professional sports and grabbed Nerlens Noel and a protected first round pick for the 2014 draft, one of the deepest in recent memory.
I think we can all agree that worked out pretty well for us.
It was fairly obvious after that what the Hinkie Plan was: tear down the 76ers to the foundation and rebuild from scratch. Sacrifice the 2013-14 season in order to be in a great position to draft an impact player that will help reshape the Sixers into a winner. Spend the year developing Michael Carter-Williams and Noel so that when next season starts, the team can hit the floor running.
And every decision Hinkie has made has been with that goal in mind. Every player added or released, every 10 day contract offered or player moved to the 87ers has been towards that end.
Which brings us to the quickly approaching NBA trade deadline.
It has been generally thought that one or all of the Sixers trio of veterans would be wearing another team’s uniform by the time February 21st rolled around. Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner have all been the subject of trade rumors and speculation almost since the day the season started and it has only heated up the closer we’ve gotten to the deadline. There have been scenarios that have sent Hawes to Dallas, Turner to either Charlotte or Oklahoma City and Young to Phoenix, just to name a few.
The latest word is that the Charlotte Bobcats, desperate to make a playoff run despite not having the talent to do so, would be willing to give up the protected first round pick they got from the Detroit Pistons and the expiring contract of Ben Gordon in exchange for both Turner and Young. And while this would give the Sixers the possiblity of three first round picks on draft night, it would decimate the roster and effectively end the season for the team.
The one constant through all the trade talk regardless of who would go where has been Hinkie’s insistence that the Sixers get a first round pick out of any trade. This has apparently been a deal breaker and something he is not willing to waiver on. Which would make perfect sense if it wasn’t for the fact that neither Hawes or Turner are realistically worth a first rounder. They have improved this year, but of the three veterans the only one worth a first round pick is Thad Young, and most fans seem kind of keen on the idea of the Sixers holding on to him for at least another season.
Considering that both Hawes and Turner won’t be back regardless if Hinkie trades them or not, I think he should take what he can get for them and run with it. In a draft as deep as this one even a early second rounder is going to be a help to a team with as many issues as the Sixers. Why let two veterans with some value walk for nothing when you can at least get a player who might be a help to your team?
But who knows. This is Sam Hinkie we’re talking about. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a plan already in motion and by the time you’re reading this he has pulled it off, putting the Sixers in an even better situation than they were last night.
What do you think? What do you want to see Hinkie do by the trade deadline?
In Hinkie We Trust.
Words a Sixers fan lives by.