Sam Hinkie’s impact on the Sixers is still creating a buzz in the NBA circles, long after he stepped down (or was pushed out) as Sixers general manager last April.
One of Hinkie’s final deals as general manager was trading the rights to Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic to the Kings in return for an unprotected 2019 first round pick, Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and the right to swap first-round selections in the 2016 and 2017 drafts.
With Kings star DeMarcus Cousins now on the move to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Kings, who currently have the 11th-worst record in the league at 24-33, just got significantly worse and are likely going to lose a lot more games as the season wears on. The Sixers sit just 2.5 games behind the Kings with the fifth-worst record in the league at 21-35.
Amazingly, it looks at the moment like the most impactful trade the Sixers will benefit from at the trade deadline comes at the hands of Hinkie once again, due to his forethought with the pick swap. Meanwhile, current general manager Bryan Colangelo’s approval rating has plummeted as the Sixers have been unable to make a deal for trade chips such as Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Ersan Ilyasova.
Okafor, on the trading block for what seems like since his debut in Philadelphia, was rumored to be attached to a deal with the Pelicans before the Cousins trade came to fruition, but what would have been netted by the Sixers was significantly less. The Kings were able to land Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and the Pelicans’ unprotected first- and second-round picks in 2017 in exchange for Cousins and Omri Casspi. The offer to the Sixers was reportedly just Evans and a top-20 protected first rounder in 2017 in exchange for Okafor.
ESPN’s Marc Stein told "Mike & Mike in the Morning" on Monday that he thinks there’s still a few suitors left who have interest in Okafor.
“I’ve heard that Boston has still given that some consideration,” Stein said. “Chicago is another team that’s said to have shown some Okafor interest. You can rest assured Philly’s going to spend the next three-plus days trying to find a trade home for Jahlil Okafor.”
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported on Tuesday that the Pacers may have interest in acquiring the big man as well.
But, with the trade deadline quickly approaching on Thursday at 3 p.m., Colangelo has little time left to make a deal. Hinkie made the trade deadline an art form, positioning the Sixers toward future success that now seems imminent for the organization. Not doing anything will be looked at as a failure by Colangelo, and Hinkie’s shadow will only grow larger over the man who took his seat.