The Philadelphia 76ers: Trust the Process

Updated on March 21, 2019
Jan Michael Ong profile image

I like writing about food, sports, personal finance, the stock market, reality TV, cartoons, comics, collectible card games and video games.

Sam Hinkie is the mastermind of "The Process." He transformed the moribund Sixers team into championship contenders.
Sam Hinkie is the mastermind of "The Process." He transformed the moribund Sixers team into championship contenders.

Sam Hinkie: The Architect of the Process

Whenever "Trust the Process" is evoked, one would think of former Philadelphia 76ers general manager and president Sam Hinkie. After all, he started the "process" and encouraged the Philadelphia fans to be patient while he rebuilt the team.

Hinkie is actually a very smart man. He graduated as a summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma and was the leader of various student organizations. He also earned an MBA from Stanford University. While earning his masters degree, Hinkie moonlighted working for teams such as the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans and Houston Rockets. This is where he became a fan of analytics.

Analytics is the use of structured historical data in order to make decisions in terms of rosters, trades, drafting and lineups.

Upon the completion of his masters degree, the Houston Rockets picked up Hinkie and made him special assistant to general manager Carroll Dawson. Hinkie would climb the ranks of the organization and would become vice president. He would work with Daryl Morey, another advocate of analytics, in order to improve the Houston Rockets.

In 2013, the Philadelphia 76ers nabbed Hinkie to spearhead their rebuilding process. Hinkie wanted to build Philadelphia into a championship contender and not a mere fringe playoff team. In order to do this, sacrifices had to be made for the long term success of the team.

Hinkie's goal was to accumulate as many assets as he could and parlay said assets into players who could make the Sixers a powerhouse in the East.

At one point in time, Nerlens Noel was the most coveted prospect in the nation.
At one point in time, Nerlens Noel was the most coveted prospect in the nation.

2013: The Dawn of the Process

Being a Stanford graduate, Hinkie was no fool. The Sixers were a bad team but not bad enough. They were too close to playoff contention. The team did not have many tradable assets either. Their most tradable asset was All-Star Jrue Holiday.

Hinkie decided to blow it up and traded Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans and got Nerlens Noel and the top 5 protected Pelicans pick for 2014. This was not at all a bad haul for the All-Star. Nerlens was one of the top prospects in the draft and was even projected to be the top pick by some analysts.

The Pelicans were not a good team. They had Anthony Davis and not much else. Getting a talented point guard in Jrue Holiday to get the ball to Anthony was a shrewd move.

The Sixers also drafted eventual Rookie of the Year winner Michael Carter-Wiliams with the 11th pick of the draft.

There was no question Embiid was a star. The question was if he could stay healthy.
There was no question Embiid was a star. The question was if he could stay healthy.

2014: The Sixers Gambled on Embiid

Even though the NBA has become a jumpshooting league, big men are still important. The Sixers chose Joel Embiid despite the fact he was projected to miss most of his debut seasons. It turns out that his broken foot would cost him his entire freshman and sophomore campaigns. Joel would only start playing in 2016, two years after getting drafted.

With the 12th pick in the draft, the Sixers chose Dario Šarić from Croatia. Dario was essentially going to be the Sixers' modern day Toni Kukoc - a really tall guy who can stretch defenses with his three-point shooting ability.

The Sixers were also able to salvage Robert Covington off the waiver wire. Covington would later prove to be a valuable defensive stopper who could stifle the opposing team's best players.

Jahlil Okafor was supposed to be the second coming of Tim Duncan.
Jahlil Okafor was supposed to be the second coming of Tim Duncan.

2015: The Sixers Trade the Present for the Future

The Sixers had the third pick in the draft and used it on Duke star Jahlil Okafor. Okafor was a polished offensive big who reminded a lot of people of Tim Duncan. Okafor had a solid debut season, averaging 17.5 PPG with 7 RPG and 1.2 BPG.

Later in the season, the Sixers would get rid of their former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams in exchange for a protected draft pick. This picks will be top five protected in 2015, top three protected in 2016 and unprotected in 2018.

At this time, people were surprised why the Sixers would trade a player who looked like a future star for the uncertainty of a draft pick.

Ben Simmons is projected to be the heir to LeBron James' throne.
Ben Simmons is projected to be the heir to LeBron James' throne.

2016: The Sixers Grab LeBron 2.0

The Sixers were fortunate enough to get the top pick in the draft and selected generational talent Ben Simmons. Ben was projected to be the next LeBron James as they were both big men who played like guards and who had exceptional passing abilities.

Simmons was not well known in the United States and many questioned his ability and character. Coach Brett Brown of the Sixers knew Simmons and his family and quickly dismissed rumors about the basketball prodigy.

As much as Sixers fans were excited to see their new basketball savior, Simmons rolled his ankle and missed his entire rookie campaign.

Markelle Fultz was the most coveted player of his draft class.
Markelle Fultz was the most coveted player of his draft class.

2017: The Markelle Fultz Sweepstakes

With the infamous Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett trade, the Boston Celtics owned the Nets' 2017 pick. There was speculation on who the Celtics would grab to bolster their already formidable lineup. Most of the speculation revolved around Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball.

In the end, the Celtics grabbed neither and instead traded the number one pick for the number three pick and draft considerations. Either they will get the 2018 Lakers pick if it falls between 2-5 or the Sixers or Kings pick in 2019, whichever is higher top one protected. So if say, the Kings pick is number one, then the Sixers will give the Celtics their pick.

To bolster their lineup, the Sixers acquired JJ Reddick through free agency. The crafty veteran is a sniper and can make it rain from downtown.

The Sixers traded former lottery pick Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and a 2019 second rounder to the Brooklyn Nets for Trevor Booker. Okafor did not live up to his potential as he never got better on the defensive end.

The Sixers shipped Nerlens Noel to the Mavericks for a package of Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and two second rounders. This was essentially a heist for the Mavericks as Justin Anderson was a mere rotation piece. Andrew Bogut was already beset by injuries and was not the same person who helped the Warriors win the title in 2015.

This could have been a good pick for the 76ers. They draft the hometown kid whose mom also works for the organization.  Alas, they traded him away on draft day.
This could have been a good pick for the 76ers. They draft the hometown kid whose mom also works for the organization. Alas, they traded him away on draft day.

2018: Drafting the Hometown Kid

The Sixers cashed in the pick they acquired in the Michael Carter-Williams trade and used it to select Mikal Bridges, the hometown kid. This was a feel good moment for the city of brotherly love. Mikal's mom also worked for the 76ers. They immediately shipped Mikal to the Suns in exchange for Zhaire Smith and the Miami Heat's 2021 first round pick.

While this was a bummer for Mikal, he should look forward to teaming up with studs like Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton in the valley of the Suns.

The 76ers also bolstered their bench by adding versatile veteran Wilson Chandler. Chandler is a versatile wing who can guard multiple positions and can shoot from rainbow territory.

The Sixers also got a second rounder for taking on Wilson's contract and in return the Nuggets received cash considerations.

Will the Sixers dominate the league? Only time will tell.
Will the Sixers dominate the league? Only time will tell.

The Verdict

The half a decade process of the Sixers have brought them back to relevancy and back to title contention. The Sixers have not been this good since the days of Allen Iverson.

While the Sixers were able to grab two generational stars in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, they have also made some missteps. With the pick they used to nab Nerlens Noel, they could have easily got C.J. McCollum, Giannis Antetokounmpo or Rudy Gobert.

The pick they used to get Jahlil Okafor could have been better used to nab Krystaps Porzingis, Terry Rozier or Devin Booker. Many also felt that the Mavericks fleeced the Sixers in the Nerlens Noel trade as the Sixers ended up with very little to show for.

Of course, this is all in hindsight. Only the future can tell if the Sixers can go back to the promised land.

Overall, the rebuild is a resounding success.

The Process

What was the most important part of the process?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)