The Sixers have the #3 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. Yes, they were Tank-erific in obtaining said pick. James Harden was the #3 overall pick in the 2009 draft. Building through the NBA draft has become known as the OKC thing and/or the OKC model. The Thunder have been to the playoffs every season since the 2009-10 season. They have been to the NBA Finals once and to the Western Conference finals twice during that stretch. They got Durant in 2007, and Wesbtrook and Ibaka in 2008 before they landed Harden in ’09. THEY BUILT THROUGH THE DRAFT. They did not become contenders overnight. However, it did not take forever either. My point: SIXERS FANS … be patiently optimistic. But, OKC didn’t reach the Finals until 2012. So, was it a five-year plan? No. Did they remain content just getting there? No.
OKC became serious competitors by 2009 when they had their four draftees in place. James Harden was an integral part of their championship run. They could not afford him after that, so they traded him. The nucleus was cut down to three, the Harden Way.
Sam Hinkie is a numbers guy. Sam Hinkie is more known for his trades and “adding pieces” then he is for his drafting. Remember, Hinkie is from Houston, he is the man behind the Harden deal. Based on the track record he has already established here in Philly, we know that he will probably be doing some more adding and subtracting. His mathematics has already landed the Sixers two of the four players they need to do it the OKC way. MCW was rookie of the year. Will Nerlens Noel be our Serge Ibaka? Will the Sixers land their James Harden or their Kevin Durant with the #3 pick in this year’s draft? Will they make a run with him and eventually have to trade him? Or, will they trade him ON DRAFT NIGHT?
Right now, Jabari Parker is looking like the most realistic choice for the Sixers at #3. NBAdraft.net likens him to Carmelo Anthony. Not too shabby, but I hope Parker is less of a gunner! Do not forget, the Sixers own the 10th pick also. Every pick is important. Every move, mathematically, will make a difference. Adding assets, retaining key veterans, and filling the roles are all crucial. The Oklahoma City Thunder is an excellent basketball team. They are well coached and let’s not forget how integral a guy like, say, Nick Collison is to their success. Will Thad Young be around to see this rebuilding process through?