The July 1st start of NBA Free Agency had been far from normal. It would take me a month to type out all the moves, so I’ll sum it up with this handy link and one “SINGLER!” yelp and be done with it. But our Sixers — as Zach Lowe reminded us near the end of the day — were absent from all public conversations, save for a cancelled Jimmy Butler meeting and a Rockets contingency plan.
So I hopped on Twitter, weirdly went to bat for a theoretical Deron Williams trade (might’ve made some sense!), and then headed off to a work dinner where I couldn’t check my phone. If I had, the hundreds of tweets and LB staff emails would’ve clued me in:
Sam Hinkie is not dead. Nik Stauskas is a Sixer. And Jason Thompson arrived three years late for a Doug Collins party.
HOLY HELL. There’s a lot to unpack here… is a thing smart NBA people say when a complex trade happens. This is not a complex trade. This is a pillaging. Not a lot to unpack at all — just one suitcase containing a gold statue of Vivek Ranadive punching himself in the dick until 2018 at the earliest.
One of Hinkie’s most consistent refrains is regarding expectations. If something you expect to happen happens, it shouldn’t change your evaluation of a player. That confusing sentence structure is best explained through Tony Wroten. He got drafted by a Memphis team that didn’t have the minutes for a raw talent like his, and he barely played. Hinkie got him for nothing, and has turned him into an NBA player slash shammgodder of ankles in Philly. Similar scenario with Jrue Holiday playing off the ball his only season at UCLA.
The Kings drafted Stauskas a year ago into a toxic situation, played him behind a 2-guard they took in the lottery the year before in Ben McLemore, ran through three coaches, and told him how much they wanted to trade him pretty much the entire time. If you liked Stauskas coming into the draft — as I did — and think the Kings were an absolute shit show — as I did — Nik’s 2014-15 NBA season should not heavily influence your opinion of him.