At the end of the summer, Hoops Rumors readers weighed in on the Sixers’ tanking strategy, with nearly 45 percent of the votes advocating GM Sam Hinkie‘s controversial methods. The NBA brass didn’t share the same enthusiasm, however, as the league tried to push through lottery reform that would’ve immediately discouraged tanking only to then have it rejected last month.
So, for now, it appears that the Sixers’ quest for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft will move forward unimpeded. And they’re off to quite a start, losing their first seven games by a league-worst margin of 12.9 points per contest. The Sixers began last season with the veteran likes of Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen, enabling the team to win 19 games and somehow avoid finishing the season as the league’s worst team.
Those guys are gone and Hinkie didn’t do much to replace them — at least not with guys ready to make an NBA impact anytime soon. As they wait for Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, the Sixers will presumably continue to employ the white-glove treatment with Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. The losses will pile up; the only question is how many? Will the Sixers come anywhere near their win total of 19 from a year ago? If not, will they challenge the 1973 Sixers, who finished at 9-73? Just how low can Hinkie and company go?