That's just the reality. The trick for the Sixers is to ignore whatever grumbling they hear and stick to Hinkie's blueprint. If they're going to get this thing into orbit, they can't keep scrapping their plans and starting over again.
Hinkie isn't trying to win the 2014 NBA title. He's trying to win the 2018 NBA title, give or take a year. When you look around the league, and consider the way business is done, that is his only reasonable option.
The Sixers tried a shortcut with the Andrew Bynum trade last summer. It seemed too good to be true - a young difference-maker available due to unique circumstances - and turned out to be just that. The Lakers may not have known Bynum would never play a game last season, but they certainly were willing to part with him.
That shortcut led the Sixers into the abyss. But the NBA is the major sports league that makes it toughest to build a winning franchise. In the last 30 years, just eight franchises have won NBA titles. That's three decades of nothing for three-fourths of the league.
Ultimately, that trend reduces to players. A tiny handful have accounted for nearly all those championships: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.
With James in his prime, and with Kevin Durant and a few others knocking on the door, the next few years are pretty much booked. Without getting a player like that - and you just don't get players like that if you're in Philadelphia - the next available opportunity to win will be in three or four years.
In Noel and Michael Carter-Williams, Hinkie added two players who should be hitting their prime about then. Unless Noel becomes a much better offensive player than projected, they are going to be the kind of quality players that help a superstar. Neither is likely to be the superstar. The Sixers will be fortunate if either is as good a player as Holiday.
So Hinkie has assembled the launchpad. The rocket is going to take a lot longer. It is also going to require some luck. Bad luck, as it happens.
As the Sixers learned in 2010, it isn't enough to have a pick at or near the top of the draft. You have to have it in those rare drafts that produce a championship-caliber player.
Some years the No. 2 pick gets you Durant. Most years, it gets you Evan Turner. Some years, the No. 1 pick brings James. Most years, it brings Anthony Bennett.
The Holiday trade brought Noel as well as a first-round pick from New Orleans. If that's a top-five pick, the Sixers don't get it. So they're still going to have to hope their own first-round pick gets them a shot at Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, or some other player who eclipses those coveted prospects.
It is easy to talk about tanking for a great player. It is not so easy living through it, for fans or players, or coaches. Ask Doug Collins about enduring last season. That wasn't remotely as miserable as next season might be.
But enduring it is the next step. Getting lucky with the draft position comes after that. Getting the right player, the superstar, is the toughest part of all. It is absolutely necessary, though, if you're going to get off the launchpad.
Contact Phil Sheridan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @Sheridanscribe on Twitter.