Less than 48 hours away from the trade deadline, Sam Hinkie has still yet to make a move.
Sixers fans without steely nerves understandably may be questioning the sanity of such an approach. What once was seen as a lock—that one or more of Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner or Thaddeus Young would be gone by Thursday at 3 p.m. ET—suddenly appears to be no sure thing.
But Hinkie’s inaction shouldn’t be interpreted as a failure to pursue deals, as evidenced by this tweet from CBSSports.com’s Ken Berger:
The Sixers are one of the busiest teams in the league with deadline approaching. Have room to take contracts and are below minimum payroll.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 18, 2014
ESPN.com’s Chad Ford echoed those sentiments in his latest edition of “Tank Rank,” writing, “The Sixers are as active as any team in the league right now, according to multiple NBA sources.” An NBA source also told Liberty Ballers’ Jake Fischer that “Hinkie has held discussions with all 29 rival NBA teams” about Hawes, Turner and Young.
In all likelihood, tonight will be the last time we see either Turner or Hawes in a Sixers jersey. Hinkie is simply doing his due diligence before pulling the trigger on any potential deal.
During his introductory press conference, he hinted at this mentality, saying of his conversations with owner Josh Harris, “We talk a lot about process, not outcome, and about trying to consistently take all the best information you can and make consistently good decisions.”
At this point, Hinkie remains in the information-gathering stage. He’s getting every team to lay their cards on the table before deciding which opportunity to pursue. While it’s a nerve-wracking approach for outside observers, it’s also yet another reflection of how the Hinkie-Harris duo have changed the team’s modus operandi.
What’s the downside of this strategy? Keeping the Turner-Hawes-Young trio together contributed to all three of the team’s wins over the past month. Young drilled a late three-pointer against Charlotte on Jan. 15, Turner dropped 34 against the Knicks exactly one week later, and ET hit a buzzer-beater against Boston on Jan. 29. Without those three victories, the Sixers would be working on a 21-game losing streak (!!!) and would be only two games ahead of Milwaukee for the worst record in the league instead of five.
Still, no team puts their best offer on the table a month before the trade deadline. Hinkie’s patience didn’t cost the Sixers substantially in the standings—they still have the second-worst record in the league, after all—and could pay dividends over the next 48 hours.
Welcome to Trade-Rumor-Palooza. Buckle up for what’s sure to be a wild ride.