Was Sam Hinkie’s Triple Tank Worth It For The Sixers?

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
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 /

Detractors aside, the 2016 off season was flush with good news for the Philadelphia 76ers. But was Sam Hinkie’s three years of self-imposed austerity worth it?

After two straight seasons of missing out on the No. 1 overall pick the NBA Draft, Sam Hinkie’s plan came to fruition.

On the NBA Draft Lottery on May 17, the Philadelphia 76ers landed the top pick, which put them in place to select, Ben Simmons, the 6-10, 240 pound point forward, who Brett Brown dreams of playing at the point guard position.

But after three seasons of going 47-199, was Sam Hinkie’s triple tank worth it?

Absolutely. There’s no other way to team build in the NBA besides landing a cornerstone superstar.

Otherwise, you’re becoming part of the league’s majority—team’s that rush to the middle and overspend on mediocre talent.

Hinkie understood that. Maybe too much. He was even reluctant to spend money on players that may have helped the team win minimal games.

For example, when the Sixers nearly acquired Isaiah Thomas last year in a three team trade involving the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks, they instead allowed Thomas to be dealt to the Boston Celtics.

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Thomas became an all-star PG for the Celtics last season.

Heck, when Ish Smith’s second-tour started the team look energized and went on winning streak. I’m sure then Hinkie was dying to buy out his contract while Smith potentially could have made his plan go south.

But anyway, back to acquiring a superstar talent.

There’s no doubt the Sixers got that and more by selecting Simmons last week, however.

Which former number one pick would you rather build around that went during the Hinkie tanking era? And are either of the two a better building block than Simmons?

If not for the news about Joel Embiid’s navicular bone that broke two weeks before the 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins would have been a Sixer.

Wiggins’ athleticism and ability to play above the rim stood amongst his competition in the NCAA. While he didn’t always take over the game and occasionally disappeared as a Jayhawk, his game was more ready for the NBA.

And that turned out to be true after Wiggins won the rookie of the year award, and is averaging just below 20 points per game in his young career.

But to ask who’s the better prospect to build a team around, Simmons or Wiggins?

It’s tough.

Both are the most hyped up prospects since LeBron James entered the league in 2003.

Both possess extraordinary athleticism and have elite aspects about their game. In this case, though, I’m going with Simmons.

Simmons can impact the game in so many different ways because of his size, rebounding and willingness to distribute the ball.

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In today’s small ball league, the Sixers can utilize Simmons’ versatility as a mismatch nightmare on a nightly basis.

As far as it goes for Karl-Anthony Towns, the No.1 pick in The Process’ second year, I’m still choosing to build a team around Simmons.

Just take a look around the NBA. The league is turning into a positionless league of players, who can guard and play multiple positions on the floor.

For example, players like James, Draymond Green and even Giannis Antetokounmpo impact the game in many different ways.

All three traditionally play the three or four in a starting lineup, however.

Their vision and ability to facilitate make not only them but the players surrounding them on the court better.

While neither of the three players mentioned above is a true point guard, nor is Simmons.

And while the Sixers did miss out on the number pick for two consecutive years, they landed the best prospect selected during Hinkie’s triple tank.

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The “Winless For Wiggins” crowd may still feel some type of way about the 2014 draft, but 199 losses later, the Sixers came away victorious in this year’s NBA Draft.