What if Steph Curry 2.0 isn’t there?

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Sam Hinkie doing what he does.

It’s time for the NBA finals. The 76ers won’t be there, but in a few weeks the organization and Sam Hinkie in particular will have to make some important decisions in the draft. The outcome could dictate whether the Sixers are about to start their ascension towards the top.

It all starts with the 3rd pick. Everybody thinks Hinkie will take D’Angelo Russell if he’s there. That seems logical, great shooter to space the floor for Embiid and Noel, not to mention the twin towers have the ability to cover up some of his defensive deficiencies. But what if he’s not there? And is Emanuel Mudiay a logical option?

The Lakers’ front office could see the next great guard in Russell alla Kobe rather than a Wilt or Kareem in Jahlil Okafor. Okafor is incredible value with the 3rd pick, but how long can Hinkie afford to wait to find a elite point guard? Next year’s draft class isn’t expected to be as good. And the more important question is if there will be a better floor general then Russell or Mudiay?

Hinkie usually chooses the best player. The Sixers drafted Noel 6th overall, Embiid was picked 3rd, Saric went 12th and Hinkie arguably got great value drafting MCW 11th in a weak draft class. But what if drafting for need and trying to find that next elite pg is the best move. Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, John Wall and Derrick Rose. Of the 8 teams left in the playoffs after the first round, those point guards were on 6 of those teams. A 1 of that calibre is what the Sixers need.

So let’s revisit the scenario where Russell gets drafted 2nd by the Lakers. If Okafor were to fall to the Knicks when they pick 4th, they would consider it a blessing. What if Hinkie drafted Okafor 3rd, traded him to the Knicks for the 4th pick & a additional first round pick. That would still allow them to draft a point guard of the future in Mudiay and also collect a future asset. Okafor, the player that was projected to go first in the draft before the college basketball season started, might be too good to pass up. It’s an interesting subject to debate.

The question is.. What will the Sixers do if Russell is gone and if so, how long can they wait for their point guard of the future?

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3 weeks after the Trade Deadline War! Tank, Cannon used! No draft pick safe!

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KJ, a casualty of war…

He’s methodical and determined! That’s right, it’s Sam Hinkie. Sam continues to show no mercy in his relentless pursuit of every single draft pick to ever exist in the NBA!

It’s true!. Ok, but what was he thinking this past trade deadline? The thing is, maybe, you might not need a fortune teller to read Hinkie’s mind. With the recent trade of MCW and KJ, the Sixers ability to win basketball games has severely plummeted. At the same time it seems to be putting them in a better position to draft a point guard with a better chance at being elite. A point guard with more upside like Mudiay or Russell.

If you’re a 6ers’ fan, doesn’t that seem logical? Here’s a more important question, do you think MCW can be an elite PG? Would he have been the point guard that carries this team through the playoffs to a championship ring? Carter-Williams is 23 years old, has a broken shot and a fragile frame.

As much as it has been fun and it really has, you have to wonder. Sixers management didn’t, they saw enough in Carter-Williams and maybe they even saw someone better that might be available to them in the month of May. So when the Bucks dangled that Lakers’ first round pick like a Oreo in front of the Cookie Monster, Hinkie bit. Now Mudiay or Russell could be wearing 76ers logos on their jerseys next season.

It’s hypotheses and educated guesses, that’s as good as it gets. No one is immune to Sam Hinkie and his Jedi Mind Tricks.

One thing is for certain, there’s a little more to the story regarding Canaan. Dwight Howard was said to have professed his love to Canaan. Canaan rejected him like a blocked shot which is why he’s in Philly at the trade deadline. Howard’s heart broken while Canaan comes to Philly and pulls a Kyle Korver. Love and Basketball, real life, no movie, true story.

A rock and a hard place, that’s where Hinkie was with the McDaniels’ trade. Get what you can for KJ or let him go for nothing because of the money he’s going to command this summer? Oh what’s that, you want a 2nd round pick also to seal the deal Hinkie? Cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie..

Breaking News! Sam Hinkie has applied for the General Manager position with the Philadelphia Eagles. Hinkie continues to show no mercy as he begins his voyage to obtain every single draft pick in the NFL! Evidently the NBA can’t quench Sam Hinkie’s undeniable thirst for.. Wait for it.. Wait for it.. MoRe DrAfT PiCkS!!!

Ok, so back to KJ McDaniels and his off the backboard dunks to himself? He would’ve been an amazing 3 & D guy. It’s the right call by Hinkie, the problem is KJ was a diamond in the rough. The team produced a great scouting report which resulted in a great decision to select KJ in the second round. Maybe the scenario wasn’t available where Hinkie could’ve received a better return. It just might be hard to imagine Canaan or that future player that gets drafted in the 2nd round as a much better player than McDaniels.

At least we can see what Jordan McRae’s going to be up to in the D-League. I’m actually serious. I like little stuff like that!

Because though dim now, the future is bright and ripe with opportunity.

Sam Hinkie said that.. Maybe?

The Evan Turner Trade Scenario

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Evan Turner’s trade value is zilch. It’s become clear he’s gone from second overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft to a player you can’t even get a late first round pick for. Despite Sixer’s General Manager Sam Hinkie’s efforts, the Phoenix Suns didn’t have enough interest in Turner to give up that late first round pick. Inevitably Hinkie’s trade proposal is great because of it’s impact regardless of the outcome.

Here’s a proper explanation. Let’s access the trade as if it had gone down. Not half, but all of what the organization once considered their backcourt of the future would be gone. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner would no longer be on the roster. Keep in mind the Sixers are one of the youngest teams in the league. You would have to assume that would make the team that much worse off next year.

The assumption by some is that Hinkie is setting up next years team to fail. Multiple national sources have even gone as far as ranking the Sixers as one of the top teams tanking for a chance at drafting a franchise changing player like Andrew Wiggins. That seems like a logical point of view. The Sixers meanwhile would also get more young talent, even if nothing is assured with a late first round draft pick. Win, win, right? No more pain in the neck Evan Turner, better draft day forecast and a first round draft pick. Using that pick to draft a player that you would have to develop, but has some up-side, might have been another nice move on Hinkie’s part. It doesn’t seem like he’s building the team to be successful in the near future anyway.

So it turns out that never happened. To be honest it might be a blessing in disguise. It’s hard to see Turner’s trade value getting any worse, but it’s always possible for an injury or two to make that happen. Worst case scenario not with standing Evan Turner could still command that late first round pick by the trade deadline. Even if his numbers stay the same, some desperate playoff bound team with an unforeseen injury might pull the trigger on a deal similar to what the Sixers offered the Suns.

Evan Turner could also become a better player than what he has shown so far in his NBA career thanks in part to a little motivation from Sam Hinkie. By Sam trading Jrue Holiday, that decision made it clear that anybody on the roster is expendable, Evan included. At some point Turner had to have realized that he was a part of a proposed trade that would have sent him to the Suns for that infamous late first round pick. It’s just that nobody wanted Turner enough to give up a first rounder on him. Hinkie might be hoping that that might be all the motivation Turner needs to break out the way he did his junior season at Ohio State. Funny thing, Evan switched positions and became Ohio State’s point guard his breakout season there. Though results aren’t guaranteed at the NBA level, it’s possible a change might translate to better results.

Hinkie might not be challenging Evan to be the player he was once projected to be, but he could be hoping that with some motivation Evan will take some steps in that direction. His tenuous relationship with Doug Collins is no longer an issue. Hinkie’s comments recently have even been supportive of Turner. Hinkie had this to say “Our team and our roster is very different then last year… This could well be an opportunity where Evan thrives. I hope our standards will be a place where hard work and competitiveness are rewarded and valued. Evan has those in spades.”

If Sam Hinkie’s jedi mind tricks work, maybe Evan Turner will dig deep enough to obtain the desired results of all those associated with the organization. A break out season from Evan would make him a much more valuable trade piece once the trade deadline approaches. That late first round pick could suddenly become a mid first rounder? It’s a big if and there is always the possibility that he shrinks under pressure. Somebody has to pick up the slack now that Jrue Holiday is gone though.

Thaddeus Young, 76ers starting small forward next year?

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    I recently talked to Anthony Gargano from 94WIP. While we were talking about the Sixers I made the point that Thaddeus Young might be a good fit as the starting small forward, at least for the beginning of next season. I reminded Gargano that around this time last year Thaddeus made it clear he wanted to start at the three.

    By Thaddeus playing small forward, more minutes would open up for the other young power forwards on the roster. More minutes for those big men could be a great way to get a better look at what players fit into the organization’s future plans. It would also give those players time to establish their roles on the roster. We already know that Thaddeus brings energy and speed when playing power forward. The other young power forwards on the team are about to or are still in the process of establishing themselves in the league. Considering next season is going to be a wash why not see how Thaddeus fares as the team’s starting small forward.

    Hopefully next season goes horribly wrong for the Sixers. Then they would be in a position to accumulate enough ping pong balls to draft a franchise changing player like Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. In the meantime if you look at next season from that perspective, what’s the worst that could happen in regards to Thaddeus starting at the three?

    Yes, Young lacks the ideal speed required of a small forward. His ball handling skills is another area of concern. But in all sincerity, Thad’s ball handling might not be a big issue because it seems highly plausible that Michael Carter-Williams will be running the show next season and Evan Turner is the type of player that seems to be more productive with the ball in his hands. That could make it a perfect balance with Thad in the mix at the three. The biggest problem with the Carter-Williams, Turner back court is that they seem to do everything well except for shot the ball.

    I also understand E.T. could be gone soon, but as of right now he’s on the roster and should start. Without Turner starting he will have little to no value as a trade commodity. If Evan were traded before the season starts there wouldn’t be much offered for him and management wouldn’t get to see if he has made any improvements in his game and has increased his trade value. Though more of a long shot as his career progresses, there is always that chance he has a break out year similar to his final season at Ohio State.

    Finally, the last problem with Thaddeus starting at small forward is that he is a back to the basket type of player. Despite being undersized, he seems to be better suited as a power forward. Regardless there are some good reasons to give him a look at small forward. Thad might have looked slightly over matched against Melo on defense but he never shied away from the challenge of guarding one of the best scorers in the league.

    On the other hand, I keep having nightmares when I think about Turner, specifically one play. The Sixers are playing the Heat and Evan is guarding LeBron James. E.T. decides to stand there with his deer caught in the headlights look that he seems to have mastered better than his jump shot. In the meantime, Turner is clueless to the fact that LeBron has moved toward the rim for an uncontested dunk. Evan wanted no parts of James.

    I don’t mind if he does the best he can and simply gets beat, but to have no awareness of your player on defense is a different story. Thad will never lack the motivation or ever have that type of mental laps. He has the work ethic, determination and the desire to succeed. Those qualities are enough to make it possible for him to be successful at small forward if given the opportunity. Consistent playing time at the three would also give Thad a chance to get comfortable and accustomed to playing small forward in the NBA. Inevitably that could lead to better results.

    Meanwhile the Sixers are collecting power forwards like a squirrel collects nuts. We have an abundance of fours and one less three with Dorell Wright’s departure. Lavoy Allen, Arnett Moultrie, and Royce White specifically play power forward. Arsalan Kazemi is listed as a four, which is what he played at Oregon. He also has played the three for the Iran National Basketball Team. Spencer Hawes is technically a center, but with his soft perimeter game and decent passing skills he could just as easily be considered a stretch four. In Gargano’s eyes he sees Nerlens Noel as a power forward too. At this point Nerlens Noel is not capable of handling the rigors of playing the five against the other bigger centers in the league and will have to bulk up. It would be nice to see him put on some weight and become a legit five.

    Moultrie showed flashes of potential late last season and reports are that he will be getting more playing time in the coming season so that management can determine if Arnett will be a part of the rebuilding process or an expendable player available to be traded. If Royce White is still here once the season starts, some fans might be hoping he taps into that middle lottery pick potential and finds a way to conquer his fear of flying. If he doesn’t, his phobia will inevitably cost him millions of dollars and an NBA career. Kazemi is lauded for his rebounding but it will be interesting to see if his game translates in the NBA despite his lack of size at power forward. Which Lavoy Allen are we going to see? Rookie season Lavoy who held his own against KG in the playoffs or the regressed version that frankly just didn’t have it last year?

    That’s a logjam at the power forward position and at no point did I mention Thaddeus Young when discussing all these power forwards. I could be over analyzing our roster prematurely. Thaddeus or one of the other power forwards I discussed could be gone in the near future. One thing can not be denied, Young brings a blue collar effort that the city of Philadelphia appreciates and he does it on a regular basis. It would be nice to see him lead a team that hopefully a few years down the line will be in contention for a championship, no matter what position Thaddeus plays.