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Sixers GM took Evan Turner to the airport after trading him to Pacers

Mar 15, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Sam Hinkie AP

The Sixers are building for the future, or tanking for ping pong balls in the draft lottery if you’re a bit more cynical. As such, they traded away two of their three best veteran players at the deadline in Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes for nothing more than future possibilities.

Turner’s deal made the most sense, considering he’ll require a qualifying offer of $8.7 million this summer just to maintain his rights as a restricted free agent, and Philadelphia can likely get similar pieces through the draft in the next couple of years for far less of a salary cap expense.

There were no hard feelings on the team’s side, however, and first-year Sixers GM Sam Hinkie made that clear with a gesture he made to Turner on his way out of town.

From John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com:

There’s an old joke about volunteering to drive an unwanted player to the airport just to get him out of town. Except when the Sixers traded Evan Turner to Indiana, it wasn’t a joke. Sam Hinkie actually hopped in the car with Turner and took him to catch his flight. That had to be an awfully strange ride.

“It was random, for sure,” Turner said. “But I can shoot the s— with anyone. It was cool, man. Hinkie is definitely a cool guy. He comes off as reserved. Sometimes you don’t really know what to take from him at first, but he talks and he’s cool and he has pretty cool stories. It was just a kind gesture. I appreciate that.”

Turner had previously come off as combative with Hinkie, saying he was not his GM after failing to receive a contract extension earlier this season.

But the fences seem to have been mended by this unusual gesture, in case an opportunity to reunite under different circumstances should arise at some point in the future.

  1. basebuck - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Turner is not the easiest guy to get along with so I give props to the GM!

  2. psubeerman21 - Mar 15, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Evan Turner is a man, and he deserves to be told why he was moved, even if he knew already. Respectful move by Hinkie.

  3. sportsnut101 - Mar 15, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    He got moved cause he took 3yrs to start playing better but not enough for 9 mill a yr
    He will get a max 3 yr deal for 15 mil

    • sumkat - Mar 15, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      True. Putting too much value on, and then overpaying, their own players because they didn’t want to take a chance at “losing them for nothing” is what has got this franchise (and most mediocre franchises over the last 20 years) from getting back into contention.

      I’d rather have the 9 mil in cap space than I would Turner, and I think every GM in the NBA agrees with me. We’ll see if I’m right soon enough when he hit’s FA, but I don’t see anyone giving him close to 9 mil per. I think you are right, 3/15, or he may be able to get a bit more with a year less, 2/12 or something

  4. abchome - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    Clippers fans would also like to thank Hinkie.

  5. mungman69 - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    The previous GMs that the SUXERS had really screwed up this franchise. Even Doug Collins got caught up in the “we have to win now” cause.
    It will take a couple of years to fix this mess.

  6. raidmagic - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    That will go a long way with free agents around the league in the future too. Players like to be respected and that shows he has respect.

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