It’s no secret that draft considerations have served as the centerpiece for many of the trades that Sam Hinkie has made during his tenure as Sixers GM, which began in May 2013. His deal with the Pelicans in June 2013 that netted the rights to Nerlens Noel was the first significant signal of the rebuilding effort that Hinkie has undertaken in the nearly 18 months since. Still, what’s happened with the 15 players who were already on NBA contracts when the Sixers acquired them is as instructive as any other measure of the scope of Philadelphia’s future-focused approach.
Nine of those 15 players wound up on waivers, including Jorge Gutierrez, whom the team released today after having acquired him Thursday in the Andrei Kirilenko trade. Kirilenko seemed destined to join those ranks, too, though the Sixers are holding on to him for now, making him one of five veterans whom Hinkie’s Sixers still retain post-trade. One other player the Sixers traded for, Byron Mullens, became a free agent this summer and signed to play in China.
Royce White is the only trade acquisition in the Hinkie era whom the Sixers waited more than a month to release, as Philadelphia brought him to camp last year after acquiring him during the summer. It’s been much more common for players to hit waivers within days of having been traded to the Sixers, as was the case with Gutierrez. The Sixers released Travis Outlaw and Earl Clark on the same day that they traded for them.
Hinkie clearly didn’t intend to keep many of the veteran players he’s acquired through trade, as he’s allowed teams to unload guaranteed salaries they no longer wanted into the cap space that the Sixers have kept over most of this season and last. For this service, the Sixers have usually charged the price of a second-round draft pick or two, as even many of Hinkie’s veteran acquisitions are made with an eye on tomorrow. That was the case in the Kirilenko-Gutierrez trade, one in which Philadelphia wound up with a second-rounder from the Nets and the right to swap second-rounders with Brooklyn in another draft.
Here’s a list of all 15 players who were signed to NBA contracts when the Sixers traded for them, along with an explanation of what happened next:
- Keith Bogans — Acquired September 27th from Cavaliers. Waived October 7th, 2014.
- Earl Clark — Acquired February 20th, 2014 from Cavaliers. Waived February 20th, 2014.
- Danny Granger — Acquired February 20th, 2014 from Pacers. Waived February 26th, 2014.
- Jorge Gutierrez — Acquired December 11th, 2014 from Nets. Waived December 12th, 2014.
- Andrei Kirilenko — Acquired December 11th, 2014 from Nets. Still with team.
- Eric Maynor — Acquired February 20th, 2014 from Wizards. Waived March 17th, 2014.
- Luc Mbah a Moute — Acquired August 23rd, 2014 from Timberwolves. Still with team.
- Byron Mullens — Acquired February 20th, 2014 from Clippers. Left as free agent for China in summer 2014.
- Travis Outlaw — Acquired October 27th, 2014 from Knicks. Waived October 27th, 2014.
- Alexey Shved — Acquired August 23rd, 2014 from Timberwolves. Still with team.
- Henry Sims — Acquired February 20th, 2014 from Cavaliers. Still with team.
- Marquis Teague — Acquired October 24, 2014 from Nets. Waived October 27th, 2014.
- Hasheem Thabeet — Acquired August 26th, 2014 from Thunder. Waived September 1st, 2014.
- Royce White — Acquired July 13th, 2013 from Rockets. Waived October 24th, 2013.
- Tony Wroten — Acquired August 22nd, 2013 from Grizzlies. Still with team.