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76ers start year with puzzling roster

K.J. McDaniels is just one of the many new faces taking the court this year in redGetty Images

If you’re a fan of the Sam Hinkie regime for the Sixers, then you’ve grown accustomed to the constant shuffling of the roster in order to accomplish what he believes are the best moves for the franchise. Tuesday was no different for the Sixers. Hinkie had to make the final cuts to the team’s 15-man roster, but had 18 players left to evaluate.

The first move of the day came when he shipped longest-tenured Sixer Arnett Moultrie to the Knicks for Travis Outlaw, a 2019 2nd round pick and the option to exchange their 2018 2nd round pick for the Knicks’ 2018 2nd round pick. The Sixers immediately waived Outlaw following the trade.

The next move came with about an hour left before the roster deadline. The Sixers waived Elliot Williams and surprisingly Marquis Teague, a point guard they had acquired in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets just days before, along with another 2019 2nd round pick for Casper Ware.

Jason Richardson, the 13 year veteran who could miss all of the 2014-15 season with a stress fracture in his right foot, was safe. Brandon Davies, who averaged a mere 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds last season, was safe. And with that, the Sixers roster was finalized.

In total, just five of the 15 players on the Sixers roster registered minutes for the team last season. Richardson and Nerlens Noel were on the team, but sat out for the entire 2013-14 campaign due to injuries. Malcolm Thomas, who was just signed to the team on Saturday, didn’t even have the chance to showcase his talent in preseason.

Until the “tanking” ends, expect more of the same from Hinkie. He has the ability to pick up players on 10-day contracts for injured players starting on January 5th, a way in which he acquired six different players last season. With Richardson and Joel Embiid expected to miss possibly the entire season, Hinkie will absolutely utilize this option once again.

It will be yet another Hinkie carousel in 2014-15.

Pacers up first

In what may be one of the only times the Sixers actually have a legitimate shot at a win this season, the team takes on an injury-riddled Pacers squad to start of the 2014-15 season.

The Pacers announced Monday that they’ll be playing without starters David West and George Hill against the Sixers Wednesday. They’re already missing injured star Paul George, who had a compound fracture of his right leg with Team USA this summer and is expected to miss the entire season.

That leaves a less-than-stellar lineup led by Roy Hibbert and Luis Scola left, one which the Sixers might be able to steal a win from. Just last season, the Sixers opened up the season with a shocking 114-110 win over LeBron James and the Miami Heat. This Pacers team is a cakewalk compared to the 2013-14 Heat, but unfortunately this Sixers team is expected to finish worse than the 19-63 team of a year ago.

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