Hinkie’s assets: Joel Embiid (left) and Dario Saric arrive next season to join Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor.
By Annie Ross
As anyone with Internet access knows full well, the Sixers’ plan, as orchestrated by general manager Sam Hinkie since 2013 has been:
Lose like crazy and compile as many assets as possible.
This plan is working, on both fronts. The losses, obviously, but also the assets. The 76ers have four first-round picks next season, including, potentially, two of the top five. (They have the Lakers’ pick, which is Top 3 protected.)
And there is talent in Philly, from Jahlil Okafor to Nerlens Noel to (maybe someday) Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. For all the talk of other NBA executives (and some players) grousing about the 76ers’ methods and perpetually kicking the competitive can down the road, this is not a bad place to be.
That’s an important point, by the way. The Astros and the Cubs were both mocked for their bottoming out, and look where they are now. There is going to be an end to this, and it’s going to be a good one.
The 76ers are historically bad, but they are building toward something. No Astros fan or Cubs fan cares about those bad years anymore (or they shouldn’t). In Philly, there haven’t been any tangible results on the court, but there have been results. And more are coming. In 2018, 76ers fans are going to be a lot happier than a lot of other teams’ fans.
Before the Sixers game the other night against, coach Brett Brown, said, “this team is built to turn the ball over.”
At one point, the 76ers were called for a technical foul because they brought in six players after a time out. In the words of Will Leitch, Brown’s nightly press conferences after losses are beginning to feel like hostage videos.
The 76ers are now 0-12 on the season, which is one of the 10 worst starts to a season in NBA history.
But that’s not particularly impressive because last year, the 76ers had the second-worst start in NBA history, going 0-17 before beating the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 3. (The worst start: 0-18, held by the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets.)
And looking at the Sixers’ upcoming schedule, which kicks off with a brutal road trip, they’ve got a shot at quite a dubious achievement.
Tonight: at Charlotte
Nov. 21: at Miami
Nov. 23: at Minnesota
Nov. 25: at Boston
Nov. 27: at Houston
Nov. 29: at Memphis
Dec. 1: vs. LA Lakers
Dec. 2: at New York
It appears entirely probable that they will have tied the record heading into an electrifying, world-shaking Dec. 1 game against the Lakers.
What a wonderful storyline for Kobe’s (probably?) final game in his hometown of Philly: Can the 76ers avoid the worst start in NBA history?