By Theodore N. Beitchman

If you listen to what passes for the media in this town, the Sixers traded away their future when they sent Nerlens Noel and Ersan Ilyasova packing this week.

Cries of “tanking” and “they’ve taken a step backwards” were intoned by empty-headed stooges like Michael Barkann, who also bellowed yesterday:

“What happened to winning this year? Brett Brown said winning was the name of the game this year after three years of losing?”

            Then the Sixers promptly went out and skunked the Washington Wizards, who had been the hottest team in the NBA, with Dario Saric (above), Richaun Holmes and Robert Covington in starring roles.

Barkann and his dumb-o producers at “Philly Sports Scream” evidently haven’t checked the standings, although if you watch Barkann he gets all he utters from his handy-dandy laptop:

As of this writing, the Sixers are 22-35, five and a half games out of the last playoff spot, currently held by the Pistons.

They traded Noel and Ilyasova because they are going to be free agents and the Sixers determined they were not worth giving big bucks to. A pure business decision.

If you want to complain about tanking, why not mention the Flyers, who are sinking like a rock in the Metro with no chance to improve because golden boy GM Ron Hextall won’t trade by Wednesday’s deadline? They are five points out of the last wild card, so are they losing on purpose?

Here’s what I know about the 2016-17 Sixers, who won their 22nd game of the season last night, compared to last season’s 10!

This crew is a lot better than last season’s, and almost as importantly they are fun to watch!

Joel Embiid and Saric and Ben Simmons will be the three-headed monster when Simmons heals and comes back next season.

Could big boss Bryan Colangelo have handled the public comment side of Embiid’s recent injury and the status of Simmons better?

Sure, but his performance is light years better than five years ago when Adam Aron never uttered a word about Andrew Bynum, who never played a game for the Sixers and had to answer every question himself.

Not the GM. Not the owner. Bynum.

That was a disaster.

This year is anything but.

They are exciting to watch, they play very good defense, which is why they are in most games, even on the road, and their upside is sky-high.

But the way Barkann and Co. view things, nothing the Sixers do is right and nothing the Flyers do is wrong.

When will they stop shilling for the Comcast-owned Flyers like the whores they are?