Hinkie's job has just begun

Posted: May 22, 2014

NEW YORK - The 76ers' fan base let out a collective sigh of relief early in last night's televised NBA draft lottery when the team was revealed as the holder of the No. 10 pick.

The New Orleans Pelicans could have retained the selection they traded to the Sixers last June if the pingpong balls elevated them to one of the top three picks, which had only a 3.98 percent chance of happening. If it had, the Sixers would have had to wait another year for the Pelicans' pick, which also would have been protected from being a top-five selection.

Luckily for the Sixers, that didn't happen, and their returns for Jrue Holiday are now just a bit clearer. In exchange for Holiday, their 2013 All-Star point guard, and guard Pierre Jackson, last year's 42nd overall pick who didn't play an NBA game this past season, Philadelphia has promising big man Nerlens Noel, for a while expected to be last year's No. 1 overall pick, and the No. 10 pick in what is considered a loaded draft.

It's also worth noting that dealing Holiday helped lead to this season's abysmal 19-63 record, and in turn, the No. 3 pick. So, now that you officially know part of the trade's returns are the No. 10 pick, how would you assess the trade, Sam Hinkie?

"It's not about how it turns out," the Sixers general manager said. "It's about what you knew at the time and how that plays out for your particular team and for their particular team.

"We talked about this even when I came a year ago about the Andrew Bynum deal. I think it's a really tough way to live, to sort of judge it as good or bad for you or others based on how it turns out, because sometimes lots of things happen that you couldn't have known. Obviously, we're pleased tonight with where we are, and we're excited about our future."

In addition to choosing at No. 3, the Sixers figure to have plenty of great options at No. 10. The weeks leading up to the draft will be used to figure out who is the best. Hinkie led the Sixers' contingent that was in Chicago last week for the NBA rookie combine and spent Monday in Denver. He's headed to Los Angeles today for 3 days before taking a red-eye home for much more draft prep.

"The last 21 days, I've been in Philadelphia for 18 hours," Hinkie said. "This is sort of the way it goes. We will be largely Philly-centric for the next few weeks, because we'll have a number of workouts that will be important for us. Some of that will start next week; I think we'll end up having them over the holiday and the like. This is an important time of year."

Especially when you have two picks in the top 10, which the Sixers officially secured last night.


On Twitter: @jakemkaplan

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