Sixers Veteran Trade Acquisitions Rarely Stick

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:

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