By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Trust the process, right? The Philadelphia 76ers will have the No. 1 overall pick for the second straight year.
Last year, just weeks after former general manager Sam Hinkie was exiled by the 76ers and the league, his former team earned the top pick in the NBA Lottery, which they spent on Ben Simmons. Now, after a trade on Monday with the Boston Celtics to acquire the No. 1 overall pick, they are expected to draft Markelle Fultz on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hinkie knew that the 76ers had to be tore down to the bear-bones before they could be good again. He knew it would be a several year process — and made moves to make sure the future was bright.
The fans did not like the part that he admitted that it would be a long process. But now, everything is pointing back to Hinkie’s genius moves despite Jerry Colangelo and Bryan Colangelo running the 76ers front office now.
It was Hinkie, who orchestrated the deal with the Sacramento Kings in the summer of 2015. The deal, on the Sixers side, was known as a salary dump, but the deal has become golden with the Kings struggles.
Hinkie acquired Jason Thompson and Carl Landry — along with Nik Stauskas, who was insurance for the salary dump of Thompson and Landry. In addition, the Sixers received a protected first-round pick, along with the right to swap picks in the first-round in two additional drafts.
It was one of those Kings picks that gave the new 76ers management the opportunity to make the deal with the Celtics to get Fultz. The other picks involved in the deal were also acquired in deals by Hinkie.
People may not have seen it at the time. But the Hinkie era has set up the 76ers to have a very bright future. Maybe even as bright as the Golden State Warriors before they added superstar Kevin Durant with three superstar players.
With Simmons, Fultz, Joel Embiid, who is likely the Rookie of the Year, and Dario Šarić, all players, who are 23 or younger, the future is golden. And, as long as they stay together, the fans are going to be rocking the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia for a long-time.
Something that 76ers fans have not seen — after have been suffering for a long-time — since Allen Iverson’s glory years. Whether you want to admit it or not, Hinkie’s “Trust the Process” moniker was right with the moves he made and gave the team a young core that will be tough to beat in the future.
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