Late Sunday evening, deep in the depression created by the Game of Thrones shaped hole in my weekend, right about the time I realized that finally getting around to watching this season of Mad Men just wasn't tenable for me emotionally yet (the heart wants what the heart wants), I came to the startling realization that I've spent the past five years of my life with a woman who had never seen nor even heard of The Boondock Saints (along with the realization that I, myself, hadn't seen the film in over five years, which, given the rise of Daryl also seemed especially egregious). I moved quickly to resolve the crisis (she begins to tire at 9:30 pm sharp, so if I want her to engage with anything in the evening it has to grab her attention by 9:15 at the latest... Yes, that also means what you think it means.).
As I was watching, I was obviously also appeasing my impending draft anxiety, fidgeting around on the internet dreaming up draft day scenarios when the two worlds combined and the scope of it all hit me like Rocco's gleefully manic tirade. It's not just the rumors of teams wanting to move down, or having two picks in the top 10, or the potential depth of this year or the Embiid injury and ensuing insanity; it's all of that, plus Hinkie on the trigger, means we could kill EVERYONE. It's that this draft is pure chaos, and Sam Hinkie is fucking Littlefinger.
No team is safe. Everyone is a target, whether they know it or not. The Pelicans were last year and they still may not even realize it yet. He can move so decisively and fast, before you know it your pants are off and you've happily given away your next first rounder.
The stories on Bill Russell say that before each game he would imagine every single scenario that might arise against a particular team, along with every action each player could possibly take when placed in those scenarios, so that once the game actually started, he had already played it several times over in his mind. He knew what opposing players were going to do before they did it. Lebron has that type of beautiful basketball mind as well at times, which is why he can defend better than the machines.
That's Sam Hinkie on draft day (and every other trade day). It's why he can make a deal in the first 30 seconds or the last. He's already made every deal before the game even started. By the time the actual draft roles around there is nothing left to do. Every single action taken by another team already has an established reaction from us. And, if somehow, something unexpected does manage to surprise him, he has comprehensive evals of not only this year's prospects, but also of every player in the league and essentially every known prospect to ever play basketball. He's been hoarding data for years. He's beyond prepared.
Now, I'm not predicting a Holiday or Harden level fleecing here, in fact I'm not predicting anything. Trying to predict what Hinkie will do in this draft would more difficult than, say, predicting we'd be sitting with 3 and 10 in the deepest draft in recent memory with the best young GM leading us, and Greg Popovich's right hand man coaching us, and oh yeah, we also drafted the Rookie of the Year at 11 and picked up 2013's top prospect who's now 20 lbs beefier, jumps higher and is learning to shoot, from the dark middle of the Collins/Bynum morass a year and a half ago.
At the risk of one-sentence-paragraphing, Hinkie.
And the best part is, having the 3rd pick isn't even the best part. After the season we just had, after the decade we just had, the 3rd pick is almost literally the least we are owed as 76ers' fans. It's what we're due. It's standard. And. as another side note, can I say that I'm almost gleeful thinking about how the East's twin pillars of incompetent management are picking ahead of us (We should have known it would be the Cavs, btw; how many lottery picks have they sacrificed to the great tanking goddess over the past decade? We just couldn't compete with theirofferings.).
The best part, to me, to go along with that 3rd pick, is our incredible flexibility. With our cap space, and the 10 pick (God Bless the Pelicans by the way, bless their little hearts. I feel bad that they may have already lost their shot at keeping the best prospect since Durant, but Hinkie), and the the best wheeler-dealer in the league, very literally everything is in play. We could trade with EVERYONE. If you can't tell, I'm ridiculously overstimulated.
In the words of my college rugby teammate 'Nips', it's judgement day bitches, get your game face on.