It’s blatantly obvious that the 76ers are in big trouble. Not only are they down 2-0 to the Celtics, but franchise shifting moves could very well be on their way as early as this offseason.
It’s been nearly 7 years since the seemingly never-ending “process” began. The 76ers have nothing to show for it other than two under-achieving superstars and an endless amount of pain.
As a Sam Hinkie stan, I’ve been very critical of the moves the new 76ers’ front office has been making. If they had just trusted the process instead of rushing it, the current view on the Sixers would be much different. Now the 76ers are a shit show. They will most-likely have to unload one of their two young stars in order to recover.
So when did they fumble the bag?
It all starts and ends with the two trades the 76ers made last season in order to put them squarely in the championship discussion.
In order to obtain Jimmy Buckets and Tobias Harris, they had to let go of valuable pieces like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and two first rounders. They were just one lucky buzzer-beater away from potentially reaching the finals and playing a beaten up Warriors team. But was it worth it?
Jimmy Butler walked away the following off-season. That led to a couple questionable moves. It’s reasonable to believe the 76ers felt like they couldn’t afford to let Harris walk after Butler’s departure, even if it meant drastically overpaying for him. Trading away all of those assets with nothing to show for it would’ve been a horrible look for the 76ers’ front office. That’s why it signed Harris to a five-year, $180-million mega deal. He’ll make around $36-million annually. The Sixers then decided to fill Butler’s void by prying away Al Horford from the Celtics. They signed the 34 year old to a four-year, $109-million dollar contract.
In hindsight, these contracts are two of the league’s worst. Horford was benched later in the season, and has basically been used as a wildly overpaid 3-and-D player this season. While Harris was much more productive in the regular season, he’s been mediocre in this year’s playoffs.
With Ben Simmons out indefinitely, Harris has failed to step up in his absence. He’s averaging 14 points per game on 33 percent shooting from the field. He is a huge reason why the Celtics are about to bounce the Sixers.
It will be interesting to see how the 76ers will get themselves out of this mess. Especially with limited assets and two extremely shitty contracts. Expect the 76ers to decide between building the franchise around either Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid, and maybe a potential Horford salary dump trade to a rebuilding team in return for a pick or two.
This is what happens when you “rush the process.”
BANNER: Keith Allison