To date, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has only made one big move in his short time in Philadelphia: trading for Nerlens Noel. Bigger transactions may lie ahead, but they might not happen until the summer, according to Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times, who believes there should be no rush to deal any of Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, or Thaddeus Young, the club’s three prime trade candidates.
The Sixers would ideally get a 2014 first-rounder and an expiring contract in return for Turner and Hawes, Moore writes, and Hinkie is willing to deal either player if another team meets his price. It’s unclear from Moore’s report just how open Hinkie is to dealing Young, though the team is apparently upping its aggressiveness in trade talks regarding the power forward, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe.
If the Sixers keep Turner, they’re unlikely to extend him the $8.7MM qualifying offer he’s due in order to allow the team to match offers for him this summer. That would make Turner an unrestricted free agent. Moore says Hawes, who’ll hit unrestricted free agency this sumemr regardless, might not be the best fit for Philadelphia’s future with Noel returning from injury. If Turner and Hawes choose to leave, Moore suggests the Sixers could work out a sign-and-trade.
Ultimately, Moore doesn’t think February’s deadline should rush the Sixers to making a move. If no one will give Hinkie what he is asking for, he should roll the dice with free agency this summer to see if the asking prices for Turner and Hawes will fit in the Sixers budget, Moore opines. For what it’s worth, Young holds a slight lead on Turner among Hoops Rumors readers who shared their thoughts on which of the three is most likely to be traded.
Speaking of Hinkie rolling the dice, Nerlens Noel has drawn some Greg Oden comparisons but the Sixers GM remains confident that trading for Noel will prove to be smart. Hinkie told Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer that “Nerlens is indicative of what we’re doing here,” which Sielski interprets to be “swinging for the fence at every pitch.”
Noel has not played in a NBA game since being drafted last summer but the Sixers are hoping the rookie will be able to recover from knee surgery and become a franchise player. However, if it doesn’t work out that way, Hinkie doesn’t believe it will destroy Philadelphia and has gathered other assets in future draft picks and flexible cap room to make sure it won’t hinder the near future of the franchise.