In the weeks since the draft lottery we've all been eager and willing to play GM and discuss the multitudes of trade options available to Hink. With seven picks in this year's draft, and the draft supposedly the deepest it's been in years, the Sixers have no shortage of options to fill a team that needs a lot of positions filled. We've got the third overall pick, which most fans agree is untouchable unless it's used to move up to #1. We also have five second-round picks, which most fans agree should (mostly) be packaged into other trades to move up, or grease the wheels of a player swap.
But when it comes to the 10th pick, there's very little consensus among fans. Some think it's expendable if we can acquire a solid player in return (with the Sixers likely including other incentives to make such a deal workable). Others have said they'd part with the pick in order to move up to #1, the thinking here is that you'd be trading a potential starter (10th pick) for the assurance of a franchise-changing superstar player at #1 (which all serious contenders seem to need). If you think the gulf between #3 and #1 is that 'superstar edge', you're willing to make that deal. Still others would only trade the 10th pick if it's part of a deal to move higher in the draft, potentially in the 6-8 range. There's still a contingent of people who think we should stay at #10 and not threaten to anger the basketball gods by getting too cute.
After the "really, CLEVELAND?!?!" fervor wore off, most of our fans have re-thought trading #3 and #10 to secure #1...realizing that for a team that needs so much help, that's simply too steep a price. Especially when you consider the Sixers utter lack of first-round picks the next few years (barring more lottery-ness). Plus if the draft is as deep as indicated, selecting someone at #10 this year could be the equivalent of selecting someone who would go top-5 in the average year's draft.
Some have speculated (admittedly, not many) that the Sixers could or should trade for a current NBA player. Different people speculate on who you could get/would want in a trade for the #10 pick. On some level it makes sense: in what has been speculated as being a draft littered with abnormally talented players, a #10 pick in the first round will have much more value than the average #10 pick....and could garner great return in a trade...especially with second round goodies thrown in. This draft class is highly touted now, but if in three years they haven't met the lofty expectations we might all be remembering the 2014 draft as a cautionary tale of buying into the Hype Machine hook, line, and sinker. Could it be the wise move to move a pick that's as valuable as a #10 could be? Sell high? If we did we wouldn't be getting a star player, but an effective starter with some substantive NBA experience? This team does (and will once Thad is moved) need some veteran voices in the locker room, and Jason Richardson isn't likely to be enough of a contributor for the younger guys to gravitate towards him as a mentor.
Ultimately though, there isn't enough already happening for the Sixers to make this feasible. Any player we're likely to get in return for trading the 10th pick will not appreciate the non-competitiveness we're expecting for the next few years. As we spend 2-3 years clawing our way out of the basement of the weaker conference in the NBA, that player developing any loyalty and re-signing after their contract expires is a long shot in my eyes. Plus, if you have any aspirations of keeping a core young group while attracting a superstar free agent...you'll need cap space, and rookie contracts are very good for cap space.
For a team that is so young, so 'new' to the league and each other, with so many holes and positions to be filled in...it seems illogical to me to give up the #10 pick for anything except a higher draft pick. This is a team in flux, where the future is bright but distant. Current NBA talent would be wasted on this team, and we're too hard up for talented players to give up two top-10 picks in exchange for one top-ten pick, especially considering the drop-off between #1 and #3 is not very big (if it exists at all). The bevy of second rounders will undoubtedly come into play for Hinkie as the chips fall where they may.....but for my money there's almost no acceptable (realistic) outcome where we don't end up selecting twice in the top-10.
What do you think?