Grading Sam Hinkie’s Offseason Moves for Philadelphia 76ers
Sam Hinkie's Offseason Grades
It has been a year of serious change for the Philadelphia 76ers. It started with the firing of Doug Collins and general manager Tony DiLeo. It was decided by owner Joshua Harris that the new regime would be led by former Houston Rockets assistant general manager Sam Hinkie.
From the beginning, fans and media didn’t know what to make of Hinkie. Immediately after his hire, no one heard from him for weeks. He certainly made his first splash on draft night by trading All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to acquire an extra first round pick in this year and next year’s draft.
Once the draft buzz calmed down, we didn’t really hear from Hinkie or any of the Sixers brass for another six weeks until former San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown was finally named head coach after much speculation on draft night that he was their guy all along.
Aside from some minor moves, it has been all quiet on Sixers' front yet again. A couple of assistants have been hired, and a few minor trades and waiver claims have been made. Other than that, the Sixers plan to bring 20 players to training camp, looking to build a roster that won’t have much of a chance to compete this year.
When we finally heard from Hinkie, he made it abundantly clear that he is tearing this team down in order to build it up and make it a contender in a few years. It is going to be a brutal year in Philadelphia, but is Hinkie’s plan the right way to go? Let’s give a grade to Hinkie’s offseason moves and see what the Sixers' future holds.
Draft Day Trade of Jrue Holiday - Grade: A
Holiday was young, talented and coming off of the best season of his career, but he will never be the best player on a championship team. His value would never be higher, and Hinkie did a good job of turning one good year into an extra lottery pick for 2013 and one in 2014.
Drafting Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams - Grade: B-
I like Nerlens Noel as a role player and a defensive superstar, and I think the Sixers got him for great value with the No. 6 overall pick. I am not a big fan of Michael Carter-Williams because I tend to shy away from the point guard who can’t shoot. His size and court vision are both enticing, but I don’t think he will ever be an All-Star in this league. At 11, he was the best player on the board and they needed a point guard with the trading of Holiday, but I just wish they would’ve made a move for Trey Burke or CJ McCollum instead.
Hiring Brett Brown as Head Coach - Grade: B+
If they would’ve hired Brown on draft day like the rumor suggested, this would be an A. I love the hire, but the process was a pain to have to follow. Being a disciple of Gregg Popovich, Brown is a hard worker and a gym rat. He will be good for a young group of guys, and his passion will help him win over this tough city of Philadelphia.
Assembly of Roster - Grade: D
Hinkie saves himself from getting an F here because he is being smart in the sense of not picking up anyone that has a guaranteed contract beyond this year. Previous Sixers teams have made it pretty clear that you can have decent players on your team and still be a bad team. I get that Hinkie wants to build through next year’s draft, but you still have to sell tickets. No one will pay to come watch a starting five whose best three point shooter is their center and a bench of Lavoy Allen, Tony Wroten and plenty of journeymen and undrafted rookies. Hinkie will get his wish of racking up the losses, but this might be some of the least entertaining basketball you’ll ever see.
Operation Tank - Grade: Incomplete
The strategy that Hinkie is taking on here is a dangerous one. The only chance the Sixers have to be good is to rebuild, but there are just too many risks involved. The Sixers could win games (I doubt it), making their lottery chances not as good. The New Orleans Pelicans could end up being better than expected, making the pick they receive from them not as valuable. They might not be able to convince any high price free agents to come to Philadelphia. They are hoping for a top three pick and another top 10 pick in next year’s loaded class, but they could potentially have two picks in the 10-15 range instead. If the plan works and the Sixers get one of the top picks, Hinkie will look like a genius. If it backfires, the Sixers could be one of the worst teams in the league for a few years. Only time will tell on this team as we wait for the 2013 season to start.