That’s not what the plan or the process was about though. It was about establishing a really strong program that will be able to churn out players. He took over a very undesirable position in the NBA as the Sixers were on their way down after a poor 2012-13 season. His goal was to basically give the Sixers a pipeline of players that was going to rival San Antonio, a pipeline of players that would make it seem like the Sixers have figured out some kind of cheat code in the NBA. The rebuild could’ve lasted 2 years, it could’ve lasted 9 years in his mind, Sam’s goal was to build up the future of the franchise, to enable it to win titles in years to come. Obviously there’s a breaking point, and this year was apparently the ownership group’s breaking point, but they are choosing nepotism over judiciousness.
Luck in the draft applies to everyone. If a team isn’t one of the free agent destinations (and Philly was not when he took over), then really the only avenues to get better are through trading and the draft. They need as much luck as Minnesota needed in back to back years that allowed them to get Towns and Wiggins (seriously look at the events that had to transpire for them to get both). The best way in the NBA to get a star is through the draft, it’s far easier to keep one over the long term when you draft him, and that part of Sam’s plan always made the most sense. There are exceptions to this rule obviously, but if you look at the best teams in the NBA, their core players or at least a significant number of them are players that the team drafted, and built around.
And the new guy is going to be Bryan Colangelo, the guy who has a decent drafting track record, but really did a poor job running the Toronto Raptors. And yes, that’s the same Bryan Colangelo, son of Jerry Colangelo, the nepotism of the hire really bothers me more than anything else. I have next to no faith in Bryan Colangelo to get this done, it seems far more likely to me that we’re just going to become the Colangelo’s new play toy until Jerry is done with the team. Keep in mind, we didn’t go through any significant process to interview and identify candidates, we just hired a guy who hasn’t been in the league for 3 years to run the most important summer in our franchise’s recent history when you consider the draft picks and cap space at stake.
Further, I would go into depth about what Sam Hinkie acquired while he was here. I have said (albeit not on this board I think) that he has made it idiot proof. He’s given a plethora of 1st round picks and cap space to Bryan Colangelo and the rest of the group. Those assets: the picks, the cap space, the contract situations with the players (there’s a part of me that finds talking about players as assets to be really misleading and weird, though their contracts are the assets) are great assets that Sam has left behind for Bryan. But how is this guy who hasn’t been in the NBA for 3 years going to use it? His track record makes me believe he’s going to overpay immediately instead of rolling cap space over. It’s probably going to impact our ability to resign players like Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid (if he can play), Jerami Grant (who has developed into quite a good role player in the right situation), and Robert Covington (who is getting better all the time).
The funny thing is I felt if the Sixers didn’t trust Hinkie this summer, they should just fire him and find someone else. I didn’t think they’d let him go and hire BC immediately after. I really do feel like the Sixers are in real danger of throwing away all the things they’ve built up due to Sam Hinkie with this hire. Sam won’t enjoy the fruits of his labor, but he put the Sixers in a position where anyone should be able to enjoy those fruits, Bryan Colangelo is going to test that to its extreme.