Which NBA Superstar Was Sam Hinkie Saving For?
Sam Hinkie was not truly a “draft only” general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. In fact, his pitch to take over the helm of the Philadelphia 76ers front office came as a result of the elaborate dealings leading to the Houston Rockets trading for James Harden. Which NBA Superstar was Sam Hinkie Saving for?
The myth of Sam Hinkie has grown larger than the man himself. We are all guilty of it. I am particularly guilty. You see, I often sit in admiration of the profound riches of the future NBA draft picks the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves blessed with. Draft picks which can replenish the talent on the Philadelphia 76ers for many years to come.
But who is kidding who?
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As much as I’d like to believe otherwise, I know in my heart that Sam Hinkie was, is, and always will be the best wheeler-dealer in the NBA. He admits as much in his Manifesto – the 13 page resignation
Sam Hinkie boasts about the Houston Rockets trade that landed James Harden. In the end, he even praises the position of Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, who he admires for his position to secure and NBA star with the wealth of draft picks amassed. And that, if truth be told, is Sam Hinkie’s Achilles heel.
Day Trader, Not a Farmer
Sam Hinkie was no farmer. In fact, he was the opposite of that. He was an NBA version of a day trader. He brought in undervalued players with only two objectives in mind: To find the elite franchise changing player, or to have the player grow in value to draft for more draft picks to find the elite franchise changing player.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not turning this into a “what was he thinking?” expose. I’m not. I just want to clarify the facts. And the facts are that despite lining up a constant stream of picks, Sam Hinkie had no intentions of seeing the 2022 picks through.
They were currency. Currency that he had every intention of cashing in on the right opportunity. Just as Houston sat back and waited for the Oklahoma City Thunder to conclude that they could not retain Harden, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook together. At the time, James Harden was a glorified sixth man.
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Sam Hinkie was stockpiling for that “mega-deal”. In the coming weeks, now through the trade deadline, we’ll offer up our ideas. If you have any thoughts, please leave them in the “comments section” below. If they pass the logic test, we may use that as one of our future articles.
He was simply waiting for the moment when he had two of the three elite players. It’s a safe bet that Joel Embiid‘s play meets that criteria. If Ben Simmons shows signs of great basketball (he’s just a rehabbed rookie after all), then you can bet this would be the season for Hinkie’s herd to work the phones.
Would New Orleans trade Anthony Davis for a kings ransom? Would the New York Knicks consider blowing it up and trading Kristaps Porzingas for three first round picks? The options are wide open, but the objective is that it must be a player whose age fits the Embiid/Simmons Range, and who would compliment their play.
Sam Hinkie did not intend to amass so many picks to use in each year respectively. He understood the window of an NBA championship is narrow indeed. But those picks would become the third leg of the triad.
Sam Hinkie was the epitome of NBA hustlers, after all.