Tanking is a fruitless strategy
Sam Hinke has been gone for a year but the stench of “the process” is still strong in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia 76ers have been trying to strike gold in draft mine for four years, entering five, and at the expense of fielding the most incompetent team in the NBA and subjecting Philly fans to frequent failure to the point where it seemingly sapped their spirit.
Their “process” has resulted in three centers and Ben Simmons. The first two of their two draft picks were broken upon arrival, one of which was jettisoned to Dallas. Their third pick is the poor man’s Enes Kanter and Simmons had his rookie season postponed due to the same injury as Joel Embiid, who is carrying the banner of “the process.”
The Sixers are at the point where Simmons getting stretched and massaged on a trainer’s table on the baseline of the court near their bench during pregame warm-ups is a bigger show than the actual game.
The Sixers’ rebuilding plan to emulate the Thunder and suck their way to a Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook like duo in the draft has proven to be fruitless and futile.
The Los Angeles Lakers have attempted a similar strategy and are still looking for the next Lakers star. Both teams will have a chance to draft a potential superstar this summer but can they trust their next rookie to propel the turnaround?
If these teams are expecting someone like Lonzo Ball to have the same impact as a rookie as Brandon Jennings did with the Milwaukee Bucks they may be out of luck.
This year’s rookie class may be one of the worst in recent history. It’s so bad that people were willing to give the Rookie of the Year Award to Embiid and with him missing half the season, they still might.
Is it possible that the best prospects are all coming out to the draft as teenagers with raw talent and thus require patience before fully blooming into an NBA star?
They do go through a lot in their first year. After being drafted, they play in the Summer League for a month and change, nearly triple the amount of games they played in college and experience more travel than ever before. Maybe they got to get used to that before they can blossom the way Myles Turner has in Indiana.
One thing is for sure, the Sixers’ hopes are pinned on two sets of feet that hopefully don’t break again.