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Sam Hinkie was a genius and beat the system

When you look at the 76ers today, you can obviously see the talent and potential of a roster comprised of guys like Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric. Yet it was not too long ago that the Philadelphia 76ers were the NBA Siberia, but they were built by one man to be that way.

The future Hinkie saw, but we didn't — by Justin Emerson
The future Hinkie saw, but we didn't — by Justin Emerson

Beating a rigged system

The NBA Draft lottery rewards teams who are terrible and Sam Hinkie took full advantage of it. During his tenure the 76ers were a putrid 47-195 and finished his last year a horrific 10-72. It was all part of Hinkie's master plan or as it became to be known, “The Process.” Due in part to tanking to beat the system and acquiring moveable pieces, Philadelphia was rewarded with high picks that, while sometimes resulted in questionable choices, largely helped reboot the team in a grander fashion.

An unstoppable tank

Under Sam Hinkie, everyone and everything was moveable unless you fit his grand scheme of losing to build for the future. Sam Hinkie deemed no one safe and everyone was available for the right price. Below are some of his cruder moves and sometimes utterly confusing.

  • Selected Michael Carter Williams in 2013 as the 11th overall pick, who was later traded in 2015 after winning Rookie of the Year for the Laker's first round pick in 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018.
  • Traded away Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel (injured) and a first round pick (which became Elfrid Payton)
  • Drafted an injured Joel Embiid in 2014, after having taken Noel previously in 2013.
  • Traded Thaddeus Young in a multi team trade for Cleveland's 2016 first round pick (which became Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot)
  • Traded Elfird Payton for Dario Saric, a 2nd round pick and a 2017 first round pick
  • Drafted Jahlil Okafor in 2015, which now created a log jam at center.
  • Traded away fillers and a 2017 first round pick, which became De'Aaron Fox, for basically no one in return besides a 2017 first round pick from Sacramento and a 2019 first round pick.

There are only a handful of people who survived the unstoppable tank, the most obvious are Joel Embiid, Robert Covington, and coach Brett Brown.

Reputation destroyed followed by a forced exit

I'll let the below quote from a Sports Illustrated article sum up Hinkie's tenure in Philadelphia

“He did the kind of stuff people talk about late at night after three beers, because theoretically it just might work, but no one actually does, then he set fire to the lifeboats”
The die hard fans believed and never forgot — by Justin Emerson
The die hard fans believed and never forgot — by Justin Emerson

Sam Hinkie wasn't a liked man by players, coaches, or agents. His tactics were cut throat, his decisions were heartless, and his ideas were sometimes out of this world. The combination of the above and the impatience of ownership forced a change. Sam Hinkie wasn't exactly fired by the 76ers, but his power was heavily marginalized and he resigned due to it. His 13 page resignation letter is something that should go down in history and immortalized within the Wells Fargo Center. Some view it as Hinkie inflating his own ego and standing by his work, while others view it as a stroke of genius.

The Process 2.0?

The Process has been completed — by YouTube
The Process has been completed — by YouTube

I doubt we'll ever see Sam Hinkie back in the NBA ever again, despite his desire to return or how badly some teams need their own “Process” to kickstart a rebuild. It would hard to see how a team could tank as long and as purposely as Hinkie's 76ers did thanks in part to the upcoming NBA Lottery reform. While he may never grace a NBA office ever again, we must all never forget the genius that Sam Hinkie was and the results of his work. The NBA must never forget that Sam Hinkie died for our sins.

by Reddit
by Reddit

This article was originally published on @justin9944