Bryan Colangelo Ready to Capitalize on Hinkie’s Groundwork
Upon his introduction as the Sixers new General Manager, Bryan Colangelo made clear that his strategy was not necessarily to veer from the ‘process’ path that Sam Hinkie had paved, but rather to build upon it.
“This is not a departure from a process,” Colangelo emphasized at his introductory press conference, opting for ambiguity in regards to which particular process he was referring to. “We’re looking to transition from unfortunate losing to more winning. We want to accelerate that process next year. We’re going to try to establish a culture of winning.”
Acceleration sounds good, especially on the heels of the recent embarrassment struggle of a season, as does building a winning culture. Luckily, both are possible as the Sixers are in the position to hit the Nos on their whole rebuild thanks to Sam Hinkie’s groundwork.
The day before his resignation, Hinkie Zach Lowe that his main goal was to put the Sixers in the position to succeed over the long term. He did exactly that, and now Bryan Colangelo is poised to capitalize on it.
Initially during his time with the Sixers, Hinkie had to dedicate a bunch of time and energy to clearing contracts due to rash decisions made by the previous regime. Such contracts weren’t shed in their entirety until over a year after Hinkie took over. Colangelo will not have to deal with such issues. Instead, he is in position to capitalize on Hinkie’s work immediately.
In addition to the fistful of recent lottery picks already on the roster, more high-caliber [young] help is on the way, as the Sixers are in a uniquely advantageous position in the upcoming draft(s) – due directly to Hinkie’s adroit maneuvering. He described this exact advantage in his detailed :
“In the upcoming May draft lottery, we have what will likely be the best ever odds to get the #1 overall pick (nearly 30%), a roughly 50/50 chance at a top-2 pick (the highest ever), and a roughly 50/50 chance at two top-5 picks, which would be the best lottery night haul ever. That same bounce of a ping pong ball (almost a flip of a coin) will determine if we have three first round picks this year (unusual) or four (unprecedented). That's this year. Or this quarter, if you will.
Regardless of the haul that comes out of a May night in New York, the team is likely to see additional lottery pick talent hit the court next season regardless. Two additional first round picks this year are available to you as well. Plus additional draft picks are set to flow in regularly for many years to come”
In sharp contrast to the regime before him, Hinkie was parsimonious when it came to contracts, and as a result he did not saddle the Sixers with bad deals that would haunt the team, negatively affecting their future ability to make moves. Colangelo would not be able to ‘accelerate’ the winning process if he was saddled with bad contracts and a lack of assets, a la 2013 Hinkie.
In addition to his cap space wizardry, Hinkie also secured a plethora of young, promising players on team-friendly contracts, in turn maximizing the organization’s flexibility going forward. He highlighted this in his as well:
“Our salary cap position going forward is easily the NBA's best. The most room, the most flexibility, providing the widest available set of options in free agency or trade of any club. This stockpile can be used all at once or strategically over the ensuing years to acquire players that fit your team, improve in your development program, and help you move up the standings."
In Sam Hinkie’s wake the Sixers find themselves poised for sustainable success. He has his work cut out for him, but Bryan Colangelo is in an excellent position to build something special with the Sixers.