After two seasons since the Philadelphia 76ers have hired Sam Hinkie to take over as the teams General Manger and President of Basketball Operations, the team has gone a dismal 37-127 with a .226 winning percentage. In the 2014 season, Hinkie saw his Sixers tie the NBA record for most consecutive games lost, as the team dropped 26 straight games. In his two seasons with the team, he has traded away the likes of every good player the organization had going for it, including All-Stars Jrue Holiday, veterans Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, our 2nd overall pick in the 2010 draft Evan Turner, and even the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year award winner, Micheal Carter-Williams. However, all of these seemingly dreadful feats listed above are exactly what makes Sam Hinkie a genius.

Sure, to the casual onlooker, it appears as if Sam Hinkie has taken an already below average basketball organization and absolutely derailed them into a set back that will take years to overcome, but to the observant fan, Hinkie has set up the Sixers to be a championship contender in just a few more years. Here’s why. That trade that sent our All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans? It resulted in the Pelicans 2014 top 5 protected pick as well as big man Nerlens Noel. Getting rid of Turner and Hawes? No problem. That trade secured the Sixers 5 future 2nd round picks. Thaddeus Young gone? Who cares? Out of that deal, the Sixers gained the Heat’s 2015 top 10 protected pick, Luc Mbah a Moute, and Alexey Shved.

There’s a method to Hinkie’s madness, otherwise ESPN wouldn’t have named the Sixers the number one team in 2015 for their use of their sports analytics. Although Hinkie hasn’t accomplished much success on the court yet, his off the court moves have been phenomenal. Because of Hinkie’s trades so far, the Sixers have freed a boatload of cap space (hopefully to be put to good use in the future), and have acquired what could one day become the scariest front court in the NBA with big men Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and 2015 no. 3 overall pick, Jahlil Okafor. Also, don’t forget about Dario Saric, the Croatian sensation international star, who was drafted 12th overall in the 2014 draft by the Orlando Magic, and then traded to the Sixers that very night. Saric currently plays in Turkey but claims he is ready to join the Sixers in the upcoming 2015-16 season.

Does Hinkie tank intentionally? Tanking has become a hot debate in the NBA and all of professional sports over the past couple of years, and it occurs when a team will intentionally try to lose or “throw away” a season in order to secure higher draft picks. Whether the Sixers practice this method or not, one thing is for sure and that is that the losing, intentional or not, definitely helps out the “rebuilding process” as Hinkie often refers to his work in progress as.

Although the Sixers may not find much success in the 2015, 16′, or even 17′ season, the future looks brighter than ever. With the foundation already set upon Noel, Embiid, and Okafor, the Sixers have a plethora of future draft picks to supplement the talent that is already in place. Actually, the amount of draft picks that the Sixers have stockpiled is mind-boggling and just goes to show how good of a job Hinkie really is doing in building for the future. Here’s a breakdown of all the Sixers future picks running through the year 2021.

2016: Four 1st-round picks, one 2nd-round pick
-Own 1st-round pick
-Los Angeles Lakers 1st-round pick (top-3 protected)
-Miami Heat 1st-round pick (top-10 protected)
-Oklahoma City Thunder 1st-round pick (lottery-protected)
-Denver Nuggets 2nd-round pick
2017: One 1st-round pick, one 2nd-round pick
-Own 1st-round pick
-Own 2nd-round pick
2018: One 1st-round pick, three 2nd-round picks
-Own 1st-round pick
-Own 2nd-round pick
-Brooklyn Nets or Cleveland Cavaliers 2nd-round pick (the 76ers will receive the better of the two)
-Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks 2nd-round pick (the 76ers will receive the better of the two)
2019: One 1st-round pick, three 2nd-round picks
-Own 1st-round pick
-Own 2nd-round pick
-New York Knicks 2nd-round pick
-Milwaukee Bucks or Sacramento Kings 2nd-round pick (the 76ers will receive the better of the two)
2020: One 1st-round pick, three 2nd-round picks
-Own 1st-round pick
-Own 2nd-round pick
-Brooklyn Nets 2nd-round draft pick
-New York Knicks 2nd-round draft pick
2021: One 1st-round pick, two 2nd-round picks
-Own 1st-round pick
-Own 2nd-round pick
-New York Knicks 2nd-round draft pick

Clearly, 2016 is going to be one hell of an exciting draft for Sixers fans. 4 potential first rounders?? That’s unheard of. Again, this team will be good with time. Time however is on our side, as all we have to do is let the younger players develop, and Sixers basketball is going to be very fun to watch again.

The Hinkie madness hasn’t exactly all panned out yet, but if he can keep making deals like this and chooses carefully in the upcoming drafts in which he has an absurd amount of picks, the Sixers will be an absolute powerhouse for years to come. Based on Hinkie’s course of action so far, I am predicting a NBA Finals run by the year 2020. So, be patient Philadelphia, Sam Hinkie has the team pointed in an upwards direction where the sky is the limit, and soon enough the Philadelphia 76ers should be a very exciting team to watch.

Matt Howe

Follow me on Twitter @howe_u_doin Contact me - mhowe109@gmail.com

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