Former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie was a genius, not a joke. Even though “The Process” and Hinkie himself are referred to by many as violating the integrity of basketball, it revolutionized the sport. He recognized the essential need of a superstar to win a championship. A top ten player, not just an All-Star, but an MVP caliber player.
When looking at NBA Champions the 2003-2004 Pistons were one of the only teams in history to not have a superstar on their team to win a Championship. Hinkie identified that getting a superstar gives you the best chance of winning a title. The draft was the best option as you need other stars to recruit a superstar in free agency and trades depleted the assets the team has built to try to compete for a championship.
With the lottery, getting a top pick is not a guarantee, but the more picks you have the more likely you can get a top pick. He noticed everyone has missed in the draft, and the way to not crush the organization with a disappointing selection is to accumulate more picks. This obviously supports the theory that the more picks a team has the better chance they get a superstar.
To do that he traded players like Iguodala, who was an All-Star caliber player but not a superstar. Hinkie had the Sixers tank to lose on purpose to get better odds in the draft. Ultimately the process was a success; proven by the NBA changing the rules to prevent a team from emulating the idea. The Sixers were able to get two possible superstars in the draft, but they had their share of busts like Hinkie predicted.
Fultz, Okafor, Noel, Michael Carter, and Saric all did not pan out as planned. However, they are now contenders due to Embiid and Simmons. Sam Hinkie may have promoted losing and some may say he just had no idea what he was doing. Either way, the Sixers have a future with two building blocks most teams dream of. They can propel them to a championship for years to come.
Whether he was a genius or had no idea what he was doing and it just kept working, Hinkie is the reason that is the case. He’s the reason the Sixers are not in mediocrity like they were before his tender. The truth is looking back Sam Hinkie truly had a brilliant plan that revolutionized his organization’s chances of winning, and the NBA as a whole.
Photo: NBC Sports