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Sixers GM open to trading picks, but won’t shortcut the rebuilding process

May 21, 2014, 7:59 PM EDT

brett sam hinkie 21

NEW YORK — The Sixers were slotted to receive the second and tenth overall picks in the upcoming draft before Tuesday night’s Draft Lottery took place, and once it was finished, the odds held almost true to form, with the team dropping just one spot after Cleveland’s stunning luck in landing the top pick continued for the second straight season.

Philadelphia now owns the third and tenth picks in the first round, but team GM Sam Hinkie was anything but discouraged by the results.

“I think it’s a good night for us,” he said. “I think it’s a lot to be hopeful for that we have two top-10 picks in a draft like this. It’s something a lot of teams would give a lot for, and we’re excited.”

The Sixers have seven picks in the upcoming draft — two in the first round, and five in the second. With needs all over the place that exist for a team that finished with the second worst record in the league and at one point snapped a 26-game losing streak to avoid making history, the abundance of selections will be put to good use.

Hinkie doesn’t currently envision trading his team’s top picks. But he expects to be active in seeing what might be out there, and is open to the possibility should the right offer present itself.

“I think you have to be open to sort of whatever may come along,” Hinkie said. “But you ask me today, on a night like this in New York, we’re excited about the players that we might get and being able to add them into our program.”

As for which players, Hinkie wasn’t about to reveal where the Sixers are in the talent evaluation process.

“Now we’re back to my stone face,” he said. “Because this is the time of the year where there is a lot of information to be gained and a lot to be lost by the more you say. We’re likely to be active all around the draft. That’s not unusual for us. But you have to be pretty careful that people don’t know what it is you are going to do.”

No matter who Philadelphia chooses, Hinkie believes that the foundation he’s building makes the team a desirable one to any top prospect.

“Most of the top players in this draft find Philadelphia a really attractive place,” Hinkie said. “Because they want to be in a place where they have opportunity. They want to play in a big market and they recognize what a platform it is to play in Philadelphia. And they want to get better. And they realize that Philadelphia, with our coaching staff and with our roster, you can come and play and get better.”

Player development has been valued above all else since Hinkie and head coach Brett Brown took over last season. Brown was regularly seen on the court before games working out Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick by the Pelicans last year whom the Sixers traded for on draft night, and Michael Carter-Williams was given 34.5 minutes per contest to learn the NBA game and eventually take home Rookie of the Year honors.

Brown maintained throughout his first year as coach that the Sixers would stay with a rebuilding process that was expected to last three-to-five years. While Hinkie would obviously like things to turn around more quickly, he’s more interested in building the franchise the right way in order to achieve a sustained level of success.

“I wish Brett would tell me what he knows sometimes that I don’t know,” Hinkie joked. “I think we’ve got a ways to go. That’s clear. I thought [Julius Erving’s] answer tonight when they talked about that was fantastic. The NBA comes in cycles sometimes, and a lot of the teams that were really good when we were last really, really, really good in the early 80s were up here on stage with him.

“It takes a while to sort of build it back up,” he continued. “And then the question is, do you want to lay a foundation that lasts, or do you want to take shortcuts? I’m not particularly interested in shortcuts, and our ownership group isn’t particularly interested in shortcuts. I think we’ll do the best we can do. How that goes, some of that hinges on tonight.”

  1. jpstyles314 - May 21, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    They should put every team in the lottery (with the same odds). Stop rewarding bad teams!!!

    • philadelphiafan - May 21, 2014 at 8:19 PM

      Or just ditch he lottery all together because it’s stupid?

      • kookiebuger - May 21, 2014 at 8:37 PM

        There is nothing wrong with the lottery.

      • jpstyles314 - May 21, 2014 at 9:00 PM

        My point is if every team had the same odds to get #1, tanking would be only used by playoff bound teams. I don’t believe your team should be rewarded for stupid decisions (in a stupid lottery).

      • sportsfan18 - May 21, 2014 at 9:02 PM

        ANYTHING that causes PROFESSIONAL teams to lose INTENTIONALLY is a BAD thing…

        You play the game to WIN… PERIOD… unless you’re a bad team in the NBA, then you play to lose…

        Every PRO team should play to win each and every time…

        If something, whatever it is, gets in the way of that, it needs to be changed.

        NOTHING should cause a PROFESSIONAL team to try and lose, to HOPE they finish LOWER than other teams…

        Do businesses try to SELL less than their competitors for a season? A year? Of course not.

        Do teams and businesses TRY to lose money? Of course not…

        So WHY would trying to finish lower be a good thing? Oh, it’s REWARDED you say? Why didn’t you tell me?

        Get RID of the REWARD for LOSING…

      • eugenesaxe1 - May 21, 2014 at 10:14 PM

        Random use of CAPS LOCK…and an INABILITY to use PROPER PUNCTUATION…is a SURE SIGN…that someone’s RAMBLINGS…should be IGNORED or MOCKED…

    • ochospantalones - May 21, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      @sportsfan18- We will consider getting rid of the rewards for losing after you get rid of your CAPS LOCK key.

  2. jkirby317 - May 21, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    It doesn’t matter who picks number one… real gems like Paul George, Dirk, Kobe, Manu can be found later. Lance Stephenson was a 2nd round pick.

    It could be really easy to mess up having the number 1 pick. Look at Micheal Olawakandi.

    • jpstyles314 - May 21, 2014 at 9:18 PM

      The only reason Lance was drafted that low was because of “character” red flags.
      You could also draft Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, or…….. Pervis Ellison?

      • jkirby317 - May 21, 2014 at 9:24 PM

        Or Anthony Bennett

      • jkirby317 - May 21, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        Looks like Lance was a great pick for the 2nd round. Misconceived character red flags and all…

    • Aberam - May 22, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      Good talent evaluators get it right, and bad ones get it wrong. It’s a consistent thing, and it happens every year. If you’re good, you’ll probably be a contender at some point. If you’re bad, like the Cavs, even 3 number one picks can’t save you.

  3. WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - May 21, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    If Wiggins and Parker are gone, trade down to 5 -7 (pick up 1st round pick next year), draft Smart, Randall, or Gordon at that spot and take best player at 10 (Harris hopefully).

  4. drs76109 - May 21, 2014 at 8:35 PM

    Hinkie the Stinkie.

    • thesixersbench - May 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      good one.

  5. wilmyers09 - May 21, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    kookiebuger nothing wrong with the lottery havent u seen that cavs almost won every lottery in past ten years its unfair to other teams that cavs keep winning it they should put every team in lottery to make it more fair

    • kookiebuger - May 21, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      It’s a lottery it’s random,anything can happen. The Cavs winning back to back is a rare occurrence this is the 2nd time (Magic) this has happened on this current systems history. It’s unfortunate but the Cavs won the lottery with the 9th worst record while the team with the worst record didn’t get #1 again, the team with the worst record won the lottery twice in it’s 24 year history this just proves tanking doesn’t guarantee the #1 pick but it does guarantee a top 5 pick.

  6. darrkkomens - May 21, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Do away with the corrupt lottery the only ones cheering it on is people from Cleveland and they have nothing to really cheer about because since King James left they’ve been a losing team.. Change it back like it was the way the NFL still is worst get the first pick.. The same team is not going to go into tank mode every year because it hurts the bottom line.. Making money.. You can’t tank every year or you’ll lose your fan base .. Get rid of the lottery or change it that only the worst 5 teams go into a lottery

    • jpstyles314 - May 21, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      5 Teams? The tanking would be historic.

  7. campcouch - May 21, 2014 at 9:54 PM

    Having the number one draft pick doesn’t guarantee success the next year. Especially if the whole team is suspect. There’s a higher probability that the team will still be bad come the next draft. Maybe not number one,but top five pick bad at least. Go away from the lottery. The system uses probabilities to improve downtrodden franchises,almost like asking God to “do this for me this one time”. Either it happens or doesn’t. Do like the other leagues. If you’re the worst,so be it,but you can’t pick number 1 after two consecutive years…unless by trade. Some teams are hard to judge if there is a tank job going on. They usually stink anyways so you’ll never really know. If suddenly the Thunder wins 12 games,barring injuries,then yeah,you might want to walk over and check that out. That way,at the worst,at truly terrible team will be able to draft 2 quality players and then the next worst franchise can follow. The reason for the lottery was to avoid tanking,but if your league is still so corrupt that it still requires it,then why does it matter if they do it and get rewarded for it. The corruption still exists.

    • sixerstrong - May 22, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      The Sixers WANT to be back in the lottery next year. If they make the playoffs, they have to give up their first round pick as a holdover from the (historically awful) Arnett Moultrie trade.

  8. themagicfanguy - May 21, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Magic traded webber for Penny in ’93, they didn’t win the lottery.

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