Sam Hinkie is a patient man.
On June 26, the Philadelphia 76ers general manager turned the third- and tenth-overall selections in the NBA Draft into Joel Embiid and—after a bit of transactional jujitsu—Dario Saric.
The two young men have very different skill sets, but one very consequential thing in common: It’s almost certain that neither will play in the NBA in 2014-15.
Embiid is likely to miss the season with a fractured navicular bone in his right foot while Saric is contractually obligated to play his pro ball in Croatia for at least the next two years. For the 2014-15 Sixers, help is not on the way.
This considered, it seems unlikely Philadelphia will make much noise on the market this summer.
What’s the point?
For a team so wholly committed to building through the draft—through the lottery—there isn’t much utility in adding immediately helpful players in free agency. Not yet, anyway.
For, say, the Chicago Bulls, improving by six or seven wins could mean the difference between an Eastern Conference title and another lost season. For the Sixers, it just means a lower draft pick.
So the tank is on for Philadelphia. Again.
That said, the Sixers will have to do something in free agency. There are games to be played—and lost—and a group of young men will have to be in uniform to do the playing and the losing.
Here are a few of the young men the Sixers may consider.