The Sixers are looking like the drunk girl at the party. Whether or not they have long-term potential is completely irrelevant. Currently, they are a hot mess, and that’s all people can focus on.
With Saturday’s 103-77 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Philadelphia 76ers have tied their franchise losing-streak record. The Sixers have lost 20 straight games, and are predicted by many to shatter the league’s consecutive loss record of 26 set by the 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavilers.
As of now it seems easier to make fun of their current state than to look at General Manager Sam Hinkie’s long-term plan. But soon the focus will be guided towards their upcoming draft picks.
The criticism will subside for sure once the season ends. People will begin to focus on their two first-round picks, five second-rounders, and massive amount of salary-cap space to lure free agents. The summer will be much brighter.
“Our job is to keep looking,” Hinkie said back in November. “Keep looking all the time. Keep looking internally and keep looking externally. Keep comparing all the time, who can help move us forward?”
There was no secret in the beginning of the season. The Sixers were not going to produce a winning team, and the goal was to build for the future. There are currently eight Sixers who have spent time in the NBA’s Developmental League, and there isn’t a better developmental coach than Brett Brown.
Brown, a rookie NBA head coach, came to Philadelphia to a player development background from San Antonio. Part of that process involves evaluating them in new situations and new environments. The ideal way to test them is to sign players and see up-close what they’ll do in the Sixers’ team setting. Brown and Hinkie are looking for any players who could potentially help them win.
The Sixers have acquired, and tested, nine players since the start of the season. Two of them, Lorenzo Brown and Dwayne Dedmon, were released after two 10-day contracts. Another, Danny Granger, had his contract bought out after being acquired from the Pacers and never wore a Sixers uniform.
The latest signee was guard Darius Johnson-Odom, who signed a 10-day contract on Friday.
By overhauling their roster with young and inexperienced players, Hinkie ensured the fact that they wouldn’t be able to compete. The normal “tank” involves limiting minutes to quality players, alongside holding players from games because of some phantom injury or illness.
People will argue that the Sixers have made a mockery of the league by loading their team with young inexperienced players; the goal is to win an NBA title. Therefore, Hinkie should be applauded.
Aside from securing a franchise-altering star in the draft, the priority is trying to find a diamond in the rough. Currently, however, things are ugly.
“But we don’t want sympathy,” Brown said. “We don’t want ‘Woe is me.’ Life’s good. We’ve just got to bide time and retain a level of patience.”
Read more about Sixers news and opinions on our Philadelphia 76ers page