Yesterday, Sam Hinkie traded away considerable pieces to what was thought to be cornerstones in a long term rebuilding plan for the 76ers franchise. The biggest piece was Michael Carter-Williams, 2013-14 NBA Rookie of the Year, which has left some people questioning the decision.
Hinkie addressed the media this morning and elaborated on the mindset behind some of these decisions. He noted that while trading Carter-Williams was difficult, in put them in a place where they were more hopeful for the future. Hinkie gushed about the flexibility these additional assets gave them, noting that there is no timetable or certainty to the culmination of these moves.
As a Sixers fan, I can’t make up my mind about these trades. More importantly, neither can you. Neither can Sam Hinkie. He understands that a lot of these moves are calculated risks which can pay off big, but also can work out to be nothing.
It’s hard to explain to a 2015 fan that these moves put the franchise in a ‘better’ position. Not only is long-term projection a difficult thing for an emotionally invested fan, but more so when everyone in the Philadelphia area has witnessed considerable progress in this season alone.
I can honestly say I’ve watched more games this season attentively than any other season. It was interesting to see the player development that Sam Hinkie iterates constantly, in spite of their wins and losses. You could see a progression in this team’s chemistry and resolve.
That might be the biggest factor in my hesitance to embrace these moves. Metaphorically, we are playing 5-card stud and trying to have unlimited re-draws. Right now, we are hoping for something better and a lot of us thought the hand we had could play into something big already. Who knows what cards we are going to pick up, and that’s the scary part.
More importantly, what kind of morale does this have on the players whom Hinkie does consider long-term pieces to this rebuilding process? How much does that factor into his decision making?
When Joel-Hans Embiid is tweeting this —
Someone tell me what’s going on please help
— Joel-Hans Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 19, 2015
— you have to wonder what kind of mindset this will put him in regarding his future in Philadelphia. He has since Tweeted much more optimistic things, but again, these are intangibles.
When you look at a championship caliber player like Lebron James, it’s pretty clear that the faith in his franchise weighs on his decision making. When we speculate in a high draft pick like Joel-Hans Embiid to be that type of player, those things should be considered.
I guess, in a Brett Brown New-England accent, I will just need to, “Trust the Prawcess.”