Only a few months into Sam Hinkie's 40-year tenure as Sixers GM and we had the term "Hinkie Move" in the books. Acquiring a formerly well thought of prospect for essentially nothing, wherein allowing them the freedom to compete for minutes on a Sixers team lacking in standout depth. Tony Wroten and James Anderson are the early success stories of the Hinkie Move.
Wroten, acquired from Memphis for a hilariously protected 2nd rounder when the Grizzlies had no role or money for him, had been a 6th man prior to Tuesday's win over the Rockets. With Michael Carter-Williams down, Wroten started his first career game and logged a triple double -- 18-11-10 in 41 minutes -- the first time anyone has done that since Elias started keeping track of such things over forty years ago.
James Anderson was discarded by San Antonio, Atlanta, and those same Houston Rockets before, to my vocal delight, Hinkie claimed him off waivers. He's started since day one, which is really an indicator of how bad the Sixers should be, but it was against his old team that he had his career game. 36 points on 12-16 shooting from the field, 6-8 from beyond, and 6-6 at the line -- including the off-balance three that sent the game to overtime. Unbelievable.
Both guys were late first rounders. Both were undervalued. One is so much fun to watch that we're starting a religion centered around his game. One looks plumper than he really is. Both have capitalized on the chance that Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown have given them. Royce White was in the same situation. He did not do enough to stick around and he got cut.
We've said it since he got here -- Hinkie's gonna roll the dice on low-risk, high-reward players and most of the time it's not going to work and he'll move on undeterred. But with Wroten and Anderson, he's found two players in the Gillickian scrap heap that will contribute to this team down the line -- either via trade or their own production here.
Last night's win over the Rockets was a Sam Hinkie win, plain and simple. The Sixers are now 5-4 on the young season. For my prediction to hold true, they'd have to go 6-67 the rest of the way. They probably won't. A top-5 pick isn't as guaranteed as it seemed like it would be prior to the season.
In Wroten and Anderson, Hinkie has added two inexpensive, legitimate players to the list of movable or retainable assets. And those low-risk pickups are part of the reason the Sixers are better than we thought we were. They beat the Rockets while their two lottery 2013 lottery picks sat on the bench. That worries some people -- it only gives me more confidence in Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown.
We'll be alright.