2014 NBA Draft
The Philadelphia 76ers made it no secret that they were blowing their team up. The first sign was really when they traded their all-star and best player in Jrue Holiday for a big man with a torn ACL and a pick. You don’t do that and expect to take steps forward. Then, during the offseason, they gathered a lot of “who is he?” players.
They then beat the Miami Heat is a surprising game from eventual rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams. It made supporters of the TANK a little worried. The Sixers continued for about a month to look like a team that was not as bad as people thought.
Then, the losses piled on. And on. And on. The Sixers said “That’s not enough”. They traded off Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes. They were going all in on the TANK. Need proof? They tied an NBA record 26 straight losses in a row. So…yeah.
Even after all of that, they didn’t have the worst record in the league. The Bucks won (lost?) that battle. And then, the Cavaliers somehow jumped a great distance and the Sixers were given the 3rd pick in the upcoming draft.
Now, most Sixers fans were yelling “Winless for Wiggins” and stuff. So, I guess people were expecting the Sixers to trade up or hope that Wiggins somehow fell to the Sixers’ lap. I personally was fine with either Jabari Parker or Wiggins. It didn’t really matter to me; I wanted a wing player with the 3rd pick and then I was hoping to use the 10 to get a PF, especially since I thought Thad Young was going to be traded.
Instead, the Sixers went with Joel Embiid at 3.
Now, my first initial reaction was, “here we go again”. Andrew Bynum. Nerlens Noel. The Sixers had been making a habit of getting big men with promise and no production. Embiid suffered a foot injury during workouts. Not to mention, his back was already a concern.
But, the Sixers decided to go for him.
At 10, they drafted a PG, but they traded him and moved down to the 12th pick for Dario Saric. Before the draft, it was known that he was not going to even play in the league for at least the next two years. Alright.
So, what we’re left with is two lottery picks that the Sixers may not see until 2015-16 and 2016-17.
So, is that okay? Welp, Sam Hinkie told us that this would take years to build. He wasn’t messing around. There’s no rush right now. Noel had a timeline of being ready to go by December of last year. And yet, he didn’t play. Don’t be surprised if the Sixers decide to just sit Embiid out.
To grade this draft, as in grading all drafts after right after it, is hard. But it’s especially harder for the Sixers, if you go by instant production. In the next two years, when these guys finally step on the court, we’ll know if it worked out. However, I liked what the Sixers did.
Granted, this team will suck for another year. That’s for certain.
However, they are building something special. The biggest thing as well is that Hinkie did a lot of things to clean up the mess of previous GMs. To be able to do that and still potential franchise guys like Embiid is impressive.
Was the losing worth it? Sort of. I think what got many fans through the season was that they were thinking that this upcoming season would be the start of making the run. A core would be established. MCW, Wiggins, and Noel was the core in many minds. And in the next few years, surrounded by the right supporting cast, they would make a run at the title.
What this draft did instead, was tell fans that there’s more losing on the way, and that what they did in the draft would not immediately be seen on the court. So, in a way, it’s almost as if the losing was nothing since there’s no immediate result of it.
But, in keeping an open mind to the behind the scenes things that happen for each team, I can appreciate what is going on. It’s hard for me to say it though: I think the tank was worth it. I think the team will be fine, even if Embiid doesn’t work out.
That’s me. There’s yet another civil war going on between Sixers fans, that’s for sure. First it was tank vs no tank. Now it’s going to be what strategy to use to build a winner. As with many teams and fans, this group of fans will look at this draft with either extreme hatred or joy. Yeah, and everything in between.
Your thoughts on the draft for the Sixers?