The year was 2013 and the day was May 13th. That was the day the Sixers hired Sam Hinkie as General Manager and “The Process,” began. Shortly after coming to Philly he made a slew of moves to ensure the Sixers would build a contender. In the form of losing and high draft picks “The Process” took off. Hinkie was fired in 2016 in an attempt to expedite a winning culture. Although, this current Sixers roster was built on the assets acquired under Hinkie’s supervision.
Tobias Harris was considered the missing piece after the missing piece named Jimmy Butler (more on Jimmy later). The assets used to acquire the efficient scorer were Landry Shamet, Sixers 2020 1st round pick, Miami’s 2021 1st round pick, and two Piston’s 2nd rounders. Ok, Mike Muscala and Wilson Chandler went to the Clippers as well but we could live without. Worth mentioning are the three picks acquired via trade. The extra 1st and two 2nd rounders could’ve potentially been used a year later to acquire a bigger star.
Although Jimmy Butler was the tenacious player we yearned for, his stay lasted less than a full season. He had exactly what Ben Simmons didn’t have; the confidence to go get his shot whenever he pleased. Simmons being so passive was rumored one of many reasons Jimmy left the Sixers following a heart breaking series loss to the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. In the trade for Jimmy the Sixers dished out the ultimate role player in Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless and another 2nd round pick. That’s certainly not an overpay for Jimmy’s services, unless it was less than a year of service.
In retrospect, the Sixers gave up Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Landry Shamet, two 1st round picks, and three 2nd round picks for Tobias Harris and a brief stint of Jimmy Butler. All of those players still have meaningful roles in the NBA today. Those draft picks held plenty of value prior to being utilized by other teams. It’s not wrong to speculate that those assets could’ve netted the Sixers more than what’s left of those trades (Tobias Harris). Had the Sixers continued with “The Process,’ for a little while longer maybe they could’ve landed Joel Embiid’s sidekick by now. So far all they have earned the Sixers are 2nd round playoff exits.