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?