Harkless Revisited

Maybe it's the new Jason Bourne movie. Maybe it's Tinker, Tailor, His Wife, & Her Lover showing up in my Netflix queue. And maybe I still have a contact high from all this excitement. But is anyone else wondering whether the Harkless pick was made, right from the start, with an eye towards Orlando?

Before this trade went down, I'm not sure I would have ever imagined the Sixers capable of such intrigue. Now? With every word coming from Aron, Harris, Thorn, and Collins making total and complete sense? Let's revisit the facts, shall we.

FACT - The Magic hired a new GM, Rob Hennigan, a week before the Draft. He was 30, a fact that probably did not escape any number of NBA lifers toiling in front offices throughout the league. Hennigan had overseen scouting for the Thunder for a few seasons, and had originally worked his way up through the Spurs organization.

FACT - Hennigan's first move was housecleaning scouts. I wonder how common housecleaning of this nature is in the NBA, and how well is it received when done by a 30 year old GM in his first few days on the job. I bring this up because the Sixers own Tony DiLeo has been with the organization since the Katz-Shue-Lynam days. (Dave: I think I found a wedding present for you, if I can track down everyone for their signatures). That's 2 owners, and 4 GM''s ago. Scouts aren't paid in the same universe as coaches or GMs--positions where the risk of moving your family comes with the pay grade.

This also means that it does not matter where Orlando's pre-Hennigan front office had Harkless on their boards. The only important thing was where Hennigan had him. And who would have had insight into that? Scouts in OKC? Others? Any of those guys tight with the scouts who Hennigan shived? And while more than one mock draft had Harkless to Orlando, but I'm wondering if the Sixers front office, which has outed itself as (gasp)...pretty good, knew something more.

FACT - Nobody foresaw the Sixers taking Harkless at 15. Well, almost nobody. Nobody 'round here, anyways. (In doing this, I see that pretty much everybody else had him going 16 or 18 to Houston. Which makes the pick far less than the stretch it seemed to me to be at the time. Always fun to realize how little I am aware of what's going on ...)

FACT - Harkless is Thad Young II. We already have the original locked up. Right from the moment Harkless was picked, the talk was...well, somebody's gotta be traded. Yup, and we now know, the somebody was Harkless himself.

FACT - The Sixers wanted Moultrie, and they traded a future pick to get him...a move that nearly knocked us all out from shock. That move makes more sense, now that he's our only pick from this draft.

FACT - Harkless is being pointed to as a key to the deal. Which replaces Andrew Lang as the most confusing NBA trade linchpin, at least in my book.

Look, this is all speculation. This is a FanPost, after all. But the team that made the biggest upgrade through this trade wasn't the Lakers, it was the Sixers. And if they took a risk drafting Harkless with an eye towards Hurricane Howard? Maybe the club is in much better hands than we ever imagined.

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