Angelo Cataldi: 2014 NBA draft proves Sam Hinkie is a fraud

GM Sam Hinkie drafted the rookie of the year, Michael Carter-Williams at No. 11 in last year's draft. Credit: Getty Images
GM Sam Hinkie drafted the rookie of the year, Michael Carter-Williams at No. 11 in last year’s draft. Credit: Getty Images

The Sixers are asking fans to place their blind trust in a management team with no track record of success and a rebuilding plan hinging on farfetched risks. They want the customers to accept a hedge-fund billionaire and a computer nerd as the saviors of their basketball team. No, thanks.

Philadelphia has had its share of snake-oil salesmen over the years, but none with the chutzpah that Sixers carpetbaggers Joshua Harris and Sam Hinkie are showing right now as they dismantle one of our major sports franchises. The past week was a vivid example of just how deep they are piling up the disrespect.

First, Hinkie decided he didn’t have time to speak to the media during last Thursday night’s draft because a brief conversation with reporters would compromise his ability to pick the right players and make the right trades. No other team in sports banishes the media during the draft, but then again no other GM cares so little about the fans.

Meanwhile, after a 19-63 season that included a 26-game losing streak, Harris stood idly by while Hinkie snubbed the city. Of course, since Harris just moved the team’s practice facilities to Camden and recently purchased the New Jersey Devils, it’s a safe bet that he doesn’t give a damn about Philadelphia either.

The problem with Harris and Hinkie is, they are not believable on those rare occasions when they do talk. For example, one day after trying desperately to trade up to the top pick for Andrew Wiggins, the GM acted as if Joel Embiid were the prize of the draft, despite recent stress fractures in the seven-footer’s right foot and back.

Harris and Hinkie want fans to accept the fact that Embiid could be the third straight big man obtained by the Sixers who will see no action in his first year here. First there was the Andrew Bynum knee debacle, and then Nerlens Noel’s slow recovery from an ACL tear last year. And now they actually want fans to applaud this Embiid crapshoot.

Surprisingly, what made last Thursday’s draft especially frustrating had nothing to do with Embiid or Noel. The fans were miffed by Hinkie’s maneuvering with the No. 10 pick that landed Dario Saric, the 6-10 Croatian prospect who is already under contract with a pro league in Turkey. Saric cannot play here for at least two seasons, if ever.

After the big gambles on Noel and Embiid, was it asking too much for Hinkie to grab a more established college player like Doug McDermott of Creighton or James Young of Kentucky with the 10th pick? Of course, it was. Hinkie doesn’t do what other GMs do. Geniuses are not conventional.

Unfortunately, Sam Hinkie is no genius. The only thing that is starting to make sense is his reluctance to talk. The more a snake-oil salesman speaks, the more likely it is that the customers will realize he’s a fraud.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.