Awful 76ers season could have silver lining if wunderkind GM pans out

 Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Sam Hinkie in July. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Sam Hinkie in July. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

It’s been a year of loss after loss for the Philadelphia 76ers and their fans.

Believe it or not, there are potential bright spots for the NBA team with the dismal 15-40 record.

Some NBA watchers points out that while you could call the team’s performance this year crummy, you could also deem it necessary.

Eric Goldwein is editor of, an NBA blog affiliated with ESPN.

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“The Sixers are in a stage frankly now where they don’t have any intention of winning games,” Goldwein said. “Some people call that tanking, some just say it’s rebuilding.”

Goldwein explainded that while this season’s losing record may look like a disaster, it could actually turn out to be a good thing: NBA teams in the bottom of the standings can end up with fantastic draft picks. And next year’s draft offers one of the best prospects in the last decade: a forward from Kansas named Andrew Wiggins.

Eliot Shorr-Parks, a reporter for, is a lifelong Philadelphia resident and sports fan who says he tries not to be biased when doing his day job.

“I don’t think the Sixers would ever say they’re intentionally tanking but it’s clear when you talk to Sam Hinkie, his eyes are on the larger picture plan — not just this year,” Shorr-Parks said.

Sixers General Manager Sam Hinkie could be the key if the Sixers will return to greatness, or at least, a winning record.

Eric Goldwein, from said Hinkie has a reputation for shrewd trades based on obscure statistics. He said since the team brought Hinkie on, the Sixers’ decision-making has started to follow the obscure statistics that are part of Advanced Stats metrics.

“Whereas before people would go by points-per-game now they have other things such as wins produced, win shares,” he said.

Goldwein said with so much data available now, there’s no need to stick with measuring players by points scored. He anticipates that in a few years, Sixers watchers will credit Hinkie with turning the team around. For now, he admited, watching the Sixers play, is painful.

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