Trade or Not, This is Why Some Sixers Fans Trusted the Process
It's this moment right here that many trusted the process.
Based on the fact that the Sixers have accumulated so many assets and cap space, they have put themselves in position to acquire the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.
While nothing is set in stone, any and all deals can and have fallen apart, but when well respected NBA reporters like Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Marc Stein put their name to something - there is merit to the report.
To put that deal into some perspective, the Sixers would be flipping picks with Boston, and sending them the Los Angeles Lakers pick they acquired back in 2014 for Michael Carter-Williams. Essentially, because that pick has yet to convey the Sixers are able to use it to pull off a deal of this magnitude. They would also be adding, per the report, a pick in 2021, when hopefully the Sixers pick would not be in the lottery - if it is - something with this team went incredibly wrong.
What makes this deal possible is the Sixers having multiple picks in next years draft and multiple picks in the 2019 draft.
In other words, even if you think they are giving up too much - they still have ammunition to add more pieces down-the-road. This isn't them giving up pieces and cleaning out the cupboard, this is adding to your core, while still retaining future assets to build around the core.
This is a turning point moment for the Sixers franchise, this is the kind of deal that the team suffered for the past three seasons, rather than take a shot at the four, five, six, seven or eighth seed during the last three years, they chose to suffer.
And suffer they did.
They held off criticism for the past three years, resisting the easy temptation to add mid-level players that could help take the team to 25-30 maybe even 40 wins, in order to try their hand in multiple lotteries - landing the No. 3 pick three times and the No. 1 overall pick last season.
When they started this "process" the goal was to find a franchise player. Not an all-star, not a good player, not a role player, a franchise player.
Now they could potentially have three.
A core of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, if healthy, could be the kind of team that is in title contention for multiple years - exactly what they set out to do. Not catch lighting in a bottle and maybe make a deep unsuspected run once every 10-15 years - but to be in the running for a title for 10-15 years with a core that you drafted.
By drafting their own stars and resisting the temptation to sign mid-level free agents, the Sixers cap situation is among the very best in the game. The Sixers could have as much as $55 million in space by the time free agency begins, which would put them in position to add potentially two max players if they wanted.
While a painful process, the fruits of its labor are finally starting to show, and even if they don't make this deal for the No. 1 pick and land Fultz they are still in a tremendous place with the No. 3 pick or if they move down and acquire more picks, because of all the hard work and pain they put into this process.
There is no shortcut to success, many teams try to take a shortcut by adding mid-level players to appease their fans, getting into the playoffs, with literally no shot for sustainable success and early playoff exits.
If you want to sign up for that, i'm not here to knock you, the losing was rough, it was painful, it was hard - but in the end, it was worth it.
They always say hard work pays off, this is three years in the making, and now after years and years of bad basketball - it's time for basketball to return to Philadelphia.