Does Sam Hinkie Need To Learn When To Hold Em?

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Sep 29, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie talks with reporters during media day at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Does Sam Hinkie Need To Learn When To Hold Em?

"“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.  Know when to walk away, and know when to run. You never count your money when your sitting at the table.  There’ll be time enough for counting when the dealings done.” – lyrics by Don Schlitz"

Now that I’ve embedded the 1978 Kenny Rodgers song lyrics into your thoughts, it’s time to take a look at the nearly unblemished record of Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie. Since his hiring by the Sixers in the spring of 2013, the team has been on one incredibly wild ride. Not much excitement on the basketball court was nearly compensated by the personnel moves made off the court.

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The road to today has been littered with talented basketball players who were traded away. For argument’s sake, Hinkie has traded established NBA players (Holiday, Hawes, and Young) as well as some up and coming talent ( Michael Carter-Williams,K.J. McDaniels) for Mbah a Moute, Canaan, Shved, Noel, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric (likely locked up under contract in Europe until 2016 at the earliest), and other young players and future draft picks.

The saying is “you’ve got to spend some to make some” was never more true than the path chosen by the Sixers.  But the idea that every move is an upgrade, an enhancement, or an improvement is absolutely naive.  It’s a gamble, a wager of placing value at risk in the hopes of trying to receive more value.   But everyone in a poker game has the same idea… so someone walks away as a winner and someone else walks away as a loser.

The life of a gambler is NOT one that gives much time to assessing how did it turn out.   It is based entirely on what you know at the time, and what you do with that knowledge.  In his own words, Sam Hinkie described the process this way

"“It’s not about how it turns out. It’s about what you knew at the time, and how that plays out for your particular team and their particular team. It’s a really tough way to live to judge it as good or bad for you or others based on how it turns out, because sometimes lots of things happen that you couldn’t have known.” – Sam Hinkie discussing the Jrue Holiday trade"

So let’s look at some of the players we’ve given up.

Next: Jrue Holiday