The Dichotomy Between the 76ers and Eagles Plans for Success


The Eagles are 7-2 while the Sixers are 0-7, or winless. Sam Hinkie is really catching some flak from everyone for his winless squad. He is being doubted after a score of frantic trade-floor type dealings. Questioned as an asset builder, GM, and basketball guy, his bold implementation is being questioned left and right. Open minded fans see the larger picture while others see him far too outside of mainstream conventions.

I am not sure what other league managers really think of this. If Hinkie is demonstrating realistic measures, he is okay. Hinkie is thoughtful and pragmatic. It is obvious enough that this would never fly for the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers, the other major teams in Philadelphia. Sam Hinkie has the advantage of being the fourth most popular pro-team in the city and perhaps the sixth most popular hoop team overall. In Philly, the Big 5 rules the roost.

  • Has Hinkie managed two acquire 4 lottery picks in his first 2 drafts? YES
  • Has Hinkie managed to lock up two first-rounders for next draft? YES
  • Has Hinkie also secured three second-rounders for next year?YES
  • Do the Sixers have the reigning Rookie of the Year? YES
  • Do the Sixers have this year’s potential Rookie of the Year? YES
  • Do the Sixers have Joel Embid and Dario Saric in the hopper? YES
  • Does Hinkie trade for players to use as bargaining chips? YES
  • Does Hinkie have the support (in public at least) of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver? YES

“Several of [Hinkie’s] moves led to the Sixers’ stashing five players overseas. The team will retain their rights as long as they remain overseas.”

The one area where Hinkie may be incorrect: storing the players overseas to play for future picks is unsound and wise simply because they could be receiving NBA playing experience here and now. If former Head Coach Larry Brown and Sports Commentator Howard Eskin believe that Project Hinkie is fundamentally flawed, they should at least state exactly why.

Another area of concern is who Hinkie will sign in the meantime. Drew Gordon has been signed from the Development League. This is not enough to place hold. The Sixers have money. Not the type of money that can sign any of the top 5-7 players in the NBA but they have space to make moves during this process.

Imagine for a second if Larry Brown and Jay Wright coached the Sixers and Pat Croce and Sylvester Stallone owned the team. Picture the starting line-up:

No doubt that they would overachieve, be well-coached, defend, compete, share the ball, and play with an energy and spirit. They would be very popular with fans. There is only one problem: They would be 4-3 right now and win 35 games or more, but they would not be anything close to champions. And they would be far off course to win a title.

That’s why Project Hinkie makes perfect sense. The Sixers are following a blueprint that has worked before.

Inside the Sixers: Stashed Away . . . Far Away*

Keith Pompey points out that the 76ers own the rights to five players who are playing overseas:

Name                    Pos.             Ht.     Wt.    Age    Current Team

Dario Saric           PF             6-10   230   20      Andolu Efes (Turkey)

Vasilije Micic        PG           6-6    203    20      FC Bayern Munich (Germany)

Jordan McRae      SG            6-6    185    23        Melbourne United (Australia)

Furkan Aldemir    C               6-9    207   23      Galatasarai Liv Hospital (Turkey)

Arsalan Kazemi    PF            6-8    224    24   Chongqing Flying Dragons (China)

* See: Manu Ginobili for proof that this can work

Jun 28, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) is introduced during press conference at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was the 11th pick overall in the NBA Draft. At left is general manager Sam Hinkie. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Philadelphia 76ers happy and proud to be the NBA’s only winless team at 0-7? Absolutely not; funny thing is that they are off to the correct start. If you can’t enjoy K.J. McDaniels, you are not being optimistic or open-minded. Drew Gordon is coming up to play and certain prosepcts will at least be interesting to watch and evaluate.

If nothing else works, get some optimism from legendary Harvey Pollack, who, in “his 68-year career, beginning in 1946, has spanned two local franchises; two comings of Wilt Chamberlain; one each of Julius Erving and Allen Iverson; a slew of colorful owners, executives, coaches and players; and four championships.”

Harvey Araton of The New York Times went on to report: “I’m the only one in this city with all four rings,” he said, noting that each ring — two with the Warriors, who moved to the Bay Area in California, and two with the 76ers, who came from Syracuse — grew proportionally in extravagance along with the sport. When he has a rare speaking engagement, Pollack wears all four and insists he has not given up on a full starting five.”

Pollack said he will “put up with it” and also remarked: “Oh, yeah, I got another finger.”

Next: 76ers Plan to Sign D-League Stud Robert Covington