While the Philadelphia 76ers and GM Sam Hinkie continue to struggle in their search for a superstar in the draft, the team’s radical rebuilding plan paid off in a big way in a trade with the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings wanted to clear cap space in order to make a run at free agency targets Rajon Rondo, Monta Ellis, and Wes Matthews. The Sixers, who have more cap room than anyone in the NBA because they refuse to sign free agents, were more than happy to take on salary from the Kings.
But in order to facilitate this salary dump, the Sixers made the Kings throw in a boatload of assets. Here’s the full trade (via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo):
- Nik Stauskas (the 8th-overall pick in the 2014 Draft)
- Carl Landry
- Jason Thompson
- A future top-10 protected 1st-round pick (per Grantland’s Zach Lowe)
- The right to swap two future 1st-round picks
- The rights to overseas-based Lithuanian prospect Arturas Gudaitis and Yugoslavian prospect Luka Mitrovic (per ESPN’s Pablo Torre)
- A future second-round pick
The Kings cleared $US13 million off their salary cap by getting rid of Landry and Thompson, but it cost them their 2014 1st-round pick and a bunch of future assets. The Kings now have around $US27 million in cap room, but even if they can sign two of Rondo, Matthews, and Ellis, are they really a serious contender in the West?
Less than 12 hours later, the NBA world is calling this a catastrophe for the Kings.
SB Nation NBA writer and Kings fan Tom Ziller summed up the feeling of Kings fans:
[dives into vat of acid]
— Tom Triller (@teamziller) July 2, 2015
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton graded the trade for both teams, and gave the Kings a firm “F.”
It’s hard to overstate how little the Sixers gave up here. Gudaitis and Mitrovic were second-round picks in 2015, but they’re both playing in Europe and it’s not a guarantee that they will ever play a game in the NBA, much less contribute in the next few years. The future second-round pick is equally expendable since the Sixers have eleven extra second-round picks in the bank from various trades over the last two years. The $US13 million in Landry/Thompson salary doesn’t matter at all since the Sixers were never going to spend that money anyway. In fact, over the last few years the Sixers have flirted with the salary floor (the minimum amount of money an NBA team has to spend on player salaries).
The Sixers gave up nothing! And they got Stauskas, who played poorly in an awful situation last season but was still a top-10 pick 13 months ago, and draft picks out of it. Hinkie lives.
In some ways this Sixers strategy hasn’t gone as planned. They tanked for two-straight years, didn’t get a top-two pick either time, and now have a mishmash of assets rather than a cohesive basketball team. But this trade is an unequivocal success.
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