GM Sam Hinkie might be planning ahead for next summer after making some questionable moves this offseason for the Philadelphia 76ers. He traded away the team’s lone all-star Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel, a player who currently seems more like Andrew Bynum 2.0 than the second coming of Tim Duncan.
He may be planning on saving cap space and building the roster up with potential in hopes that the Sixers can attract a top-tier free agent like LeBron James or win lottery and draft top college recruit Andrew Wiggins. Hinkie is the mastermind who picked up key pieces for the Houston Rockets such as Jeremy Lin and James Harden and left them with enough room to sign this summer’s biggest name, Dwight Howard.
The Sixers may take a step back this season with the roster resembling something closer to a group of mistfit toys than a title contender. He could also be leaving the door open for a trade from a team looking to dump a high-profile contract just to avoid the luxury tax. The Sixers will most likely sink to the depths of the NBA toilet bowl this season in hopes to draft one of the biggest names in next year in Wiggins.
Hinkie did land Noel, the biggest prospect who could provide superstar numbers when he’s healthy. If Noel plays to his potential and the Sixers draft Wiggins next summer, they could take one enormous leap that would put them in the front of the line for a title in the 2014-15 season.
Both players would be in their rookie contracts, giving the Sixers a leg up on their competition with enough cap space to sign one or two big-named free agents like James or Carmelo Anthony, who can be lured to play alongside Wiggins and Noel.