Whatever you might think of Sam Hinkie’s eccentricities, and that resignation letter showed them to be myriad, it’s hard to deny that The Process worked. The 76ers have a chance (a relatively slim, but still promising one) to be an actual basketball team for the next few seasons. Dario Saric is finally coming over, Joel Embiid may finally be healthy and they have finally, finally, gotten the No. 1 overall pick. Drafting either Simmons or Ingram will create an admittedly annoying glut in the front court, but the 76ers will have enough assets and young talent to bring optimism to the City of Brotherly Love for the first time in years.
For the record, I believe Simmons should be the guy the 76ers pick. I understand and even share many of the worries that have risen to the surface after his disappointing season at LSU. But the guy is only 19 and has basketball IQ that is off the charts. He is a phenomenal passer and ball-handler. I still believe he can and will develop a reliable 20-footer, but even if he never does, he can still be effective running the offense both in the halfcourt and in transition as a point-forward. It’s incredibly valuable to have a player who can grab the rebound and immediately push the ball. Simmons can do both of those things at an elite level.
Other than doing everything possible to ensure they make the right pick at No. 1, the 76ers need to find a point guard of the future and get more shooting on the wing. They’ll have two more late first-round picks from the Heat and Thunder and guys like Tyler Ulis, Demetrius Jackson, Taurean Prince, Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz all make sense.
In free agency, the 76ers should throw a max offer at Bradley Beal, if only to make Washington match it. A play for someone like Evan Fournier would also make sense, but he may prove too expensive and the Magic have plenty of cap space to keep him should they choose.
I do expect the 76ers to be active in free agency in a way they were not during Hinkie’s tenure. Colangelo has been in the league a long time and likely has tons of relationships with agents. I’d bet he uses them- whether for good or for ill remains to be seen.
We’ve also already seen inklings that Colangelo has thrown the Hinkie playbook out the window with the rumors of a Nerlens Noel-Jeff Teague swap. It’s the kind of trade that has fans of The Process up in arms and not without reason. Teague is probably an above-average point guard, something the 76ers desperately need, but he is 27 and will be a free agent at the end of next season. Giving up a young, albeit flawed player for a 27-year-old point guard is the kind of move Hinkie objected to with every fiber of his being. Still its a trade that makes some sense for both sides and
Whatever moves he makes going forward, Bryan Colangelo has taken over at exactly the right time. He gets it right and he will get all the credit. He gets it wrong and the 76ers will be just as bad and he can just blame Hinkie.