When Does Process Really Turn Into Progress?

Oct 8, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie (R) talks with chief executive officer Scott O
Oct 8, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie (R) talks with chief executive officer Scott O /

The Philadelphia 76ers have preached “process to progress” for this upcoming season, but it seems like it could take a little longer for that to be true.

The Philadelphia 76ers immediately closed the book on an era when they pushed Sam Hinkie to his end as president of the team. They ultimately started a new book when they hired Bryan Colangelo to his vacant position.

Although technically Sam Hinkie left on his own power by resigning from his position, there are those that can read between the lines. Based on the hiring of Jerry Colangelo — father of Bryan — in December to a role with the team that seemed made up more than anything, it was clear ownership and management above Hinkie was losing patience with his radical rebuilding plan that involved a lot of losing.

The team was, at the time, in the midst of one of the worst basketball seasons of all time as far as a win-loss record is concerned, and for someone who might have a scope revolving around revenue sales and putting people in the seats, things didn’t exactly look good for the Sixers. Sure, there was an army of radical fans standing behind the unconventional wisdom of Hinkie, but they weren’t exactly selling out the Wells Fargo Center.

So, when the team pushed Hinkie out, and hired Bryan Colangleo, team CEO Scott O’Neil — who is typically very active on Twitter — started Tweeting out a slogan: “Process to Progress.”

This slogan poked fun at the one that Hinkie-ites labeled Hinkie’s plan as, as the slogan was “Trust the Process.”

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Although the team has taken a lot of steps in the right direction this offseason, it’s hard for me to definitively say that the team has progressed over the last few months since Hinkie left the team, or at least enough to be bragging about how much progress has been made. Sure, they got the first overall pick and drafted Ben Simmons, likely a franchise player, with it, and they also made some solid free agency moves.

But really, what did the Sixers do this offseason? They flipped some assets and turned them into players. Sounds kind of like what Sam Hinkie would have done if he were still behind the wheel. And let’s not forget, the 2016-17 Sixers have yet to win a game.

All of those things the team did this offseaon will lead to more wins next season, but it would be tough to imagine the roster that’s in place now to get more than 30 wins or so next season. Certainly, that’s progress compared to the 10 wins that the Sixers got last year, but is it a step towards competitiveness, or is it a step towards mediocracy?

There’s a lot of work to do over this season. The Sixers still have to figure out which big men they’re going to keep, and which they’re going to deal. They’ve got to figure out what they will be doing with likely two lottery picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. They’ve got to spend a lot of cash over the next few years.

Looking at the additions the team made, aside from Simmons, many won’t be with the team for the long haul. Jerry Bayless, Gerald Henderson, and Sergio Rodriguez are all players that are stopgap players who don’t add identity to the Sixers roster that’s hopefully going to be a  playoff competitive team in a few seasons.

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Progress may be a good word to describe this season, but it seems like by saying that the team is shifting from process to progress, the team is getting content with just winning a few more games and adding some veteran players who will help guide some young players.

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Don’t get me wrong, the future of the Sixers is largely positive, and largely going to be progressive. But if you define the “progress” of the process as being competitive in the NBA, the Sixers still have some things to do before they get there.