3 weeks after the Trade Deadline War! Tank, Cannon used! No draft pick safe!

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KJ, a casualty of war…

He’s methodical and determined! That’s right, it’s Sam Hinkie. Sam continues to show no mercy in his relentless pursuit of every single draft pick to ever exist in the NBA!

It’s true!. Ok, but what was he thinking this past trade deadline? The thing is, maybe, you might not need a fortune teller to read Hinkie’s mind. With the recent trade of MCW and KJ, the Sixers ability to win basketball games has severely plummeted. At the same time it seems to be putting them in a better position to draft a point guard with a better chance at being elite. A point guard with more upside like Mudiay or Russell.

If you’re a 6ers’ fan, doesn’t that seem logical? Here’s a more important question, do you think MCW can be an elite PG? Would he have been the point guard that carries this team through the playoffs to a championship ring? Carter-Williams is 23 years old, has a broken shot and a fragile frame.

As much as it has been fun and it really has, you have to wonder. Sixers management didn’t, they saw enough in Carter-Williams and maybe they even saw someone better that might be available to them in the month of May. So when the Bucks dangled that Lakers’ first round pick like a Oreo in front of the Cookie Monster, Hinkie bit. Now Mudiay or Russell could be wearing 76ers logos on their jerseys next season.

It’s hypotheses and educated guesses, that’s as good as it gets. No one is immune to Sam Hinkie and his Jedi Mind Tricks.

One thing is for certain, there’s a little more to the story regarding Canaan. Dwight Howard was said to have professed his love to Canaan. Canaan rejected him like a blocked shot which is why he’s in Philly at the trade deadline. Howard’s heart broken while Canaan comes to Philly and pulls a Kyle Korver. Love and Basketball, real life, no movie, true story.

A rock and a hard place, that’s where Hinkie was with the McDaniels’ trade. Get what you can for KJ or let him go for nothing because of the money he’s going to command this summer? Oh what’s that, you want a 2nd round pick also to seal the deal Hinkie? Cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie, cookie..

Breaking News! Sam Hinkie has applied for the General Manager position with the Philadelphia Eagles. Hinkie continues to show no mercy as he begins his voyage to obtain every single draft pick in the NFL! Evidently the NBA can’t quench Sam Hinkie’s undeniable thirst for.. Wait for it.. Wait for it.. MoRe DrAfT PiCkS!!!

Ok, so back to KJ McDaniels and his off the backboard dunks to himself? He would’ve been an amazing 3 & D guy. It’s the right call by Hinkie, the problem is KJ was a diamond in the rough. The team produced a great scouting report which resulted in a great decision to select KJ in the second round. Maybe the scenario wasn’t available where Hinkie could’ve received a better return. It just might be hard to imagine Canaan or that future player that gets drafted in the 2nd round as a much better player than McDaniels.

At least we can see what Jordan McRae’s going to be up to in the D-League. I’m actually serious. I like little stuff like that!

Because though dim now, the future is bright and ripe with opportunity.

Sam Hinkie said that.. Maybe?

Just saying Sam..

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Dr.J during the 2014 NBA Lottery

Sam Hinkie was in the driver’s seat. There were three top picks in this year’s draft and he had the third draft pick. He could choose from whoever was available at number three and it would be a great move.

Then Joel Embiid had to break his damn foot..

Who know’s what Sam Hinkie is going to do now. John Gonzalez thinks he should trade Micheal Carter-Williams to the Lakers for the seventh pick, then trade Thaddeus Young for a draft pick in the middle of the first round. I stand by my favorite proposed trade. Oh, what’s that? You haven’t heard about that one yet?

First things first, let’s start by addressing the rumor that MCW and Thaddeus Young would go to Los Angeles for the Lakers seventh pick and Steve Nash’s contract. Here’s what Ben Detrick had to say about that trade in one paragraph.

“If Hinkie snaked two first-rounders from New Orleans for Jrue Holiday a year ago, why would he trade a younger player with a higher ceiling and a vastly better contract for … one first-rounder? All while also giving up a useful trade chip in Young? And taking back Nash’s “Eff You, Pay Me” [$9.7] million for next season? If that occurs, expect Hinkie to rip off his plastic face, Mission: Impossible–style, to reveal the cackling skull of a Billy King turducken critter.”

Perfect..

So, what if Sam Hinkie offered those same players, plus a second rounder or two to Orlando for the fourth pick? Orlando would have to add Jameer Nelson to match Thaddeus Young’s contract. Aaron Afflalo has reportedly just been traded, otherwise he would’ve been an ideal candidate. Victor Oladipo’s skills might be best utilized as a shooting guard while MCW could slide in as the new point guard. The two said they enjoyed playing with each other at the Rising Stars Challenge. The Magic might not bite, but isn’t it worth a shot?

Next, draft Dante Exum and Noah Vonleh. You would then have two young players with a tremendous upside that can take their merry old time to develop. Noel now has a partner in the paint to compliment him. Vonleh is big enough to guard the opposing team’s center but can also shoot from three point range and spread the floor. He’s arguably the best power forward prospect in this year’s draft. Julius Randle might have been more productive but Vonleh might be the better prospect and it’s not just because of his far superior wing span and Go Go Gadget hands.

The talk about Exum is that he is MCW part 2. Depending on who you talk to Dante has a quicker first step. The main difference between MCW and Dante, is that Exum is almost four years younger than MCW. That gives Dante four more years to work on the same flaws he shares with MCW, mainly a suspect jump shot. That’s also four more years to develop till he becomes the same age as MCW, which means he’s got that much more upside.

The only issue that I have with this trade is that it leaves the Sixers with fewer assets to move the tenth draft pick into the top eight. If you stay at ten, you walk away with Nik Staukas, Garry Harris, James Young or Zach LaVine. If you move into the top eight you are guaranteed to be left with Marcus Smart, Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon.

Such is life, it is a cruel world we live in. The effort in producing a Hinkie-worthy trade is still there none the less. After all, a team with Exum, Vonleh, Noel and the tenth draft pick, might be a decent consolation prize for a Wiggin-less Sixers team and their fans.

 

What’s the Diehl.. Ruben?

Ruben Amaro actually played baseball once.. He wasn’t too good at that either.

As Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro continues his regression towards worst general manager in the major leagues, what more can we expect from him? The good news is that while he dangles Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee in front of potential trading partners, he is smart enough to demand that any team doing business with him must also take the complete salary that each of those players is signed to. It’s also understandable that he would like to sell and trade Dominic Brown while his trade value is high, but it seems like Brown’s best years are still ahead of him.

Amaro should be commended for trading backup catcher Eric Kratz and taking a chance on inexpensive relief pitcher Brad Lincoln. The problem is that his other moves seem mind boggling when you are potentially trying to trade three of your most productive players. It makes no sense to sign aging veterans like Marlon Byrd, Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley, regardless of how fond we are of Utley and Chooch because of their previous accomplishments.

Does Amaro want to win now by signing Byrd, Ruiz and Utley or is he trying to rebuild by putting Hamels, Lee, and Brown on the trading block? Most of the Philadelphia fan base should be confused by his actions. Pat Gillick had the reigns when the Phillies were at the peak of their performance and at a more youthful stage of their careers. But since then Amaro has done nothing to capitalize on the success of the 2008 championship.

Instead, since 2008 they have gone from winning the championship, to losing in the World Series in 2009, to then losing the National League Championship in 2010. The following year they lost in the first round of the playoffs. In 2012 they became the very definition of an average team, losing a game for every game they won. Last year they became a losing team and now Amaro expects to make these perplexing moves and contend for a title?

The final straw might have been the early dismissal of one of the most beloved managers in franchise history. Charlie Manuel, for all he has done, deserved to finish the season last year. He clearly wanted to finish the year and was not happy when he found out he had been fired.

It can be debated that two of the most disheartening days in the recent coaching history of Philadelphia sports might be the death of the late and great defensive genius Jim Johnson and the early termination of Charlie Manuel’s contract. Charlie brought a championship to this city after such a long drought. He deserved to finish the year regardless of whatever circumstances were involved with present coach Ryne Sandberg.

If only the Phillies could beg Pat Gillick to come back and create some sort of structure and sensibility out of what has turned into this circus show that is now currently the Phillies’ front office. Only time will tell how much further this organization continues it’s downward spiral. That appears to be the only direction the Philles are headed under Ruben Amaro’s guidance. If he were dismissed in the near future it could be in the team’s best interest. A new and capable general manager might have a fighting chance at restoring order to a once proud major league team.

Sam the Man

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Sam Hinkie has changed the atmosphere surrounding the 76ers.

It’s no secret the Sixers might be a bad team next year as they try their best to acquire Andrew Wiggins in next year’s draft. Regardless, the way Sam Hinkie is handling this approach should have Sixers’ fans excited about the future of the team. Hinkie is gathering young prospects that at this point in their career won’t have much impact on the upcoming season. They could, however, be valuable pieces when constructing the future of this puzzling NBA team, otherwise known as the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers.

There’s been an abundance of young talent that has been filtered into the organization since Sam Hinkie arrived. There has also been one key loss. Trading Jrue Holiday hurts, but the fact of the matter is that it looked as if “the Jruth” could only lead us so far. Had the trade not happened, this decade-long funk of missing the playoffs or squeaking in while gathering middle first round draft picks with no star potential would most likely be prolonged even further.

Hinkie played his cards beautifully. If there was any year to trade your best player and tank for the chance at drafting a franchise changing player, this is the year. Even if Andrew Wiggins isn’t available when it’s the Sixers’ turn to draft, there are some excellent consolation prizes in Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and Marcus Smart.

So we lost Jrue, but there’s all that young talent that Hinkie has been collecting. He drafted promising players in lottery picks Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter Williams. Noels and Carter Williams are thought of as potential corner stones of the future, but he also saw potential in Arsalan Kazemi, the undersized power forward from Oregon. If Kazemi can get accustomed to playing small forward on a regular basis, he has a chance to be successful in the NBA despite being a second round pick. He played small forward for his national team and could always go to Europe to get consistent playing time at the three.

James Anderson and Tim Ohlbrecht also joined the team… Though Ohlbrecht has some size and was a D-League all star last year, he doesn’t have much playing experience in the NBA. Anderson appears to be another journeyman that hasn’t done too much in his NBA career. It’s Hinkie’s other moves that have been the interesting ones.

Tim Ohlbrecht

Along the way Sam somehow acquired Royce White and an intriguing Turkish power forward named Furkan Aldemir from the Rockets for a bag of chips and some skittles. Actually, it might have been future considerations. Alas, he gathers another prospect with good upside in Royce. White came at a cheap price because he has some baggage, specifically he has a fear of flying. Ultimately the organization can try different methods to try and calm his anxiety during flights. Crush up a few xanax or klonopin in his mashed potatos, problem solved. In the meantime, it’s believed that while White was a nice pickup, Aldemir is the player Sam coveted. Furkan is a prospect that will most likely develop his game overseas till he’s ready to join the team.

Furkan Aldemir

Lastly Hinkie parted with a future second round draft pick for combo guard Tony Wroten of the Memphis Grizzlies. This has the potential to be another excellent move on Hinkie’s part. Wroten’s problem, like a lot of the other Sixers guards on the roster, is that he can’t shoot. This transaction might have generated some excellent competition between Michael Carter Williams and Tony Wroten — two oversized point guards with questionable jump shots that could battle each other to be a part of the Sixers future. It could force each player to work at the one weakness in their game. An improved jump shot could make either guard a more well-rounded player and a better equipped floor general.

Tony Wroten

So there we have it. As far as young talent goes, Jrue Holiday is out, but Noel, Carter-Williams, White, Aldemir, Kazemi, Ohlbercht and Anderson are in. Add two potential lottery picks next year and things could be looking up for the Sixers before you know it. Sam Hinkie seems to be orchestrating a thoroughly thought-out plan to at the very least take the Sixers out of this mediocre decade of purgatory that we have been experiencing. At the very least Sam the Man should be congratulated for that.

The Evan Turner Trade Scenario

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Evan Turner’s trade value is zilch. It’s become clear he’s gone from second overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft to a player you can’t even get a late first round pick for. Despite Sixer’s General Manager Sam Hinkie’s efforts, the Phoenix Suns didn’t have enough interest in Turner to give up that late first round pick. Inevitably, Hinkie’s trade proposal turned out to be great a decision because of it’s impact regardless of the outcome.

Here’s a proper explanation. Let’s access the trade as if it had gone down. Not half, but all of what the organization once considered their backcourt of the future would be gone. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner would no longer be on the roster. Keep in mind the Sixers are one of the youngest teams in the league. You would have to assume that would make the team that much worse off next year.

The assumption by some is that Hinkie is setting up next years team to fail. Multiple national sources have even gone as far as ranking the Sixers as one of the top teams tanking for a chance at drafting a franchise changing player like Andrew Wiggins. That seems like a logical point of view. The Sixers meanwhile would also get more young talent, even if nothing is assured with a late first round draft pick. Win, win, right? No more pain in the neck Evan Turner, better draft day forecast and a first round draft pick. Using that pick to draft a player that you would have to develop, but has some up-side, might have been another nice move on Hinkie’s part. It doesn’t seem like he’s building the team to be successful in the near future anyway.

So it turns out that never happened. To be honest it might be a blessing in disguise. It’s hard to see Turner’s trade value getting any worse, but it’s always possible for an injury or two to make that happen. Worst case scenario not with standing Evan Turner could still command that late first round pick by the trade deadline. Even if his numbers stay the same, some desperate playoff bound team with an unforeseen injury might pull the trigger on a deal similar to what the Sixers offered the Suns.

Evan Turner could also become a better player than what he has shown so far in his NBA career thanks in part to a little motivation from Sam Hinkie. By Sam trading Jrue Holiday, that decision made it clear that anybody on the roster is expendable, Evan included. At some point Turner had to have realized that he was a part of a proposed trade that would have sent him to the Suns for that infamous late first round pick. It’s just that nobody wanted Turner enough to give up a first rounder on him. Hinkie might be hoping that might be all the motivation Turner needs to break out the way he did his junior season at Ohio State. Funny thing, Evan switched positions and became Ohio State’s point guard his breakout season there. Though results aren’t guaranteed at the NBA level, it’s possible a change might translate to better results.

Hinkie might not be challenging Evan to be the player he was once projected to be, but he could be hoping that with some motivation Evan will take some steps in that direction. His tenuous relationship with Doug Collins is no longer an issue. Hinkie’s comments recently have even been supportive of Turner. Hinkie had this to say “Our team and our roster is very different than last year… This could well be an opportunity where Evan thrives. I hope our standards will be a place where hard work and competitiveness are rewarded and valued. Evan has those in spades.”

If Sam Hinkie’s jedi mind tricks work, maybe Evan Turner will dig deep enough to obtain the desired results of all those associated with the organization. A break out season from Evan would make him a much more valuable trade piece once the trade deadline approaches. That late first round pick could suddenly become a mid first rounder? It’s a big if and there is always the possibility that he shrinks under pressure. Somebody has to pick up the slack now that Jrue Holiday is gone though.