So the month of August begins with another head-scratcher award for Sam Hinkie.
The mad scientist in Philadelphia had earned plenty of props on this site for his acquisition of three rotation players — Jason Thompson, Nik Stauskas and Carl Landry — along with a first-round pick and the right to swap two additional two first-round picks with Sacramento in the early-July deal that allowed the Kings to clear the cap space to sign Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli and Kosta Koufos.
The thinking here was the Thompson would be able to back up both Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel at the power forward and center spots, the latter being his natural position despite his size, the former being the position he has spent the most time at during his NBA career.
kickingcanBut just 22 days later, Hinkie kicked the can down the road once again by dealing Thompson to the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in exchange for cash and “draft considerations.”
The Sixers’ official announcement of the trade did not even specify exactly what those “draft considerations” were, but news was eventually leaked that Philly now has the opportunity to swap the lesser of Miami or Oklahoma City’s first-round pick for Golden State’s pick next June.
Couldn’t the Sixers have included that nugget of information for their fan base? This latest incarnation of what seems to be a “say as little as possible” strategy simply makes no sense.
Nor does it make much sense as far as the primary components in the deal. Wallace is finished as an NBA player, and the educated guess here is that he receives a buyout from Philly and never appears for a single moment in a Sixers uniform.
Wallace is on the books for $10.1 million in the upcoming season, whereas Thompson is due to make $6.43. So the Sixers lose $3.5 million worth of cap space in this deal, giving up a player who could have helped in exchange for a player who hasn’t helped anyone in three years.
This making any sense to anyone?
Well, don’t hold your breath waiting for an explanation from Hinkie or the Sixers organization. Three weeks after delivering the bad news, they still have not even said whether Joel Embiid has undergone his latest foot surgery … or even explained how Embiid broke the foot. Or why Embiid was spotted at Las Vegas summer league traipsing around without a walking boot. A question: If you were a Sixers season-ticket holder, wouldn’t you want some answers to these most basic questions?
Maybe Peter May was right:
The guy is leaving me scratching my head.
coleIt has already been reported by our Michael Scotto that the Sixers have been speaking with the representatives of restricted free agent Norris Cole, who would be a nifty acquisition if the Pelicans allowed him to leave. Not that New Orleans wants him to leave, but the kid is going to be stuck behind Jrue Holiday for the forseeable future if he stays in the Crescent City, and the Sixers could probably get him — and keep him — if they tendered an offer sheet with a first-year salary of something in the area of $8 million. Matching that offer would make the Pelicans a luxury tax team, which they don’t want to do.
Cole would probably be amenable to signing a three-year deal in which only the first year’s salary was guaranteed, and the Sixers could effectively put him on a well-paid, one-year tryout to see if he could beat out Isaiah Canaan and Scotty Wilbekin — and maybe even help the Sixers win a few games.
hinkieAt a certain point, Hinkie has to establish a culture of winning, and Cole could be a catalyst. But as August begins, the Sixers appear ready to roll out the tank again and play for ping-pong balls. They own the Lakers’ pick (protected 1-3) along with their own pick, Miami’s and Oklahoma City’s — and now the right to swap one of those two for Golden State’s pick. The latter two teams figure to be in the playoffs, so Hinkie will likely have two lottery picks. That’s nice.
But why isn’t Hinkie going for players in free agency who could help now and possibly becoming long-term assets? Why didn’t Hinkie use one of his five second-round picks on Cliff Alexander of Kansas, who was a projected top 5 pick before losing his eligibility at Kansas?
Neil Olshey of Portland, no dummy, went out and scooped Alexander up. Why didn’t Hinkie strike first?
I still think Hinkie’s long-term plan is a brilliant one, building a team of young studs that can grow together and compete for multiple titles a half-decade from now when LeBron James will be on the wrong side of 35.
But again, at a certain point you have to instill a winning culture, and you have to speak honestly to your fan base. Right now, he is doing neither. And that is just shameful.
Think Thompson was a little excited to be getting out of Philly?
Check out his tweet from after the trade was announced:
Read more at http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2015/08/01/sheridans-top-10-free-agents-aug-1-edition/#blZYAVaQIbcKYCmz.99