Sam Hinkie believed in the numbers, and the math told him he needed to do whatever it took to get a star if Philadelphia was going to win another NBA title. So he gave the 76ers the best chances of ending up high in the draft. It’s just the level of losing Hinkie was willing to endure to get those chances was more than many in the league, and eventually, his owner could tolerate.
Now Daryl Morey takes over Hinkie’s old chair in Philadelphia, in charge of basketball operations. Another numbers guy. Hinkie is stoked, a word he used a lot in an interview with ESPN’s Pablo Torre (hat tip Real GM). I mean, like ’80s surfer a lot.
“I was stoked,” said Hinkie. “I’m stoked now. I think it’s great news. He’s not a good hire. He’s a great hire. It’s a really big move for the franchise. For a franchise I care a lot about. With a bunch of people I care a lot about. I just think it portends really great things for the future, for the Sixers. Which remains meaningful to me. So I’m stoked.”
Don’t people remember what it took to get them? For all of them. Getting a star player in the NBA is not impossibly hard, but close. It requires either an incredible amount of luck, or an amazing amount of time, or some other way to try and get at it. So what is Jo? 26? To have a young player who is nominally, in a traditional sense, just entering his prime, and say ‘oh we’ve got to blank.’ No, job one is you’ve got to get great players on your team, and he is one.
And so, I’m not alone on this, you’d be loathe to think we have to do anything and we have to do anything that requires you to potentially move a great player. They don’t move very much for a reason, because people rightly don’t let them go very often for a reason.
Hinkie is right about this, and Morey appears to agree. Reports say the 76ers have no plans to trade Simmons or Embiid. Rather, the plan is to give Morey time to build around the All-Stars, and let Doc Rivers put them in better positions on the court. Maybe all that doesn’t work, but the Sixers are going to try it.
Hinkie was right about a lot of things, which is why he will always have support in some quarters of Philadelphia fandom.