In last year's SB Nation NBA Mock Draft where the bloggers became GMs, I sent a lot of emails and not too much happened. I acquired Anthony Bennett (at #8) and DeAndre Jordan, got rid of Spencer Hawes (miss u) and Jason Richardson, but that's about it. Then Hinkie bested me by trading Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams a few days later.
This year, I was determined to out-Hinkie Hinkie in this fake land of NBA Mock Drafts where trades and buyouts and potential free agents signings could be made and I had no owners to answer to. And I think I set a pretty decent first shotput for Hinkie to try to match.
Overall, I made four trades (which became three as two trades merged to become a 3-teamer), acquired six new players, traded three, picked up a first next year, two future seconds, and moved up to have four first rounders in 2014 and holding onto three seconds.
Full SBNBA Mock
Full SBNBA Mock
With Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker gone, Exum was the easy pick here. I fielded some offers for MCW, but ultimately decided to give them a hypothetical shot at co-existing.
#8: Bulls/Kings/Sixers 3-Team Trade; Sixers Select Dario Saric
Sixers Trade: Jason Richardson, #10
Sixers Acquire: Carlos Boozer, Jason Thompson, Jason Terry, Quincy Acy, #8, #19, 2015 Portland 2nd (via CHI)
Though this was made prior to Saric's overseas contract, we're still comfortable with this. Yes, we brought on a crap ton of money, but the Sixers cap space this year doesn't matter to me one bit, and it's worth it to load up on future assets. If trades present themselves at the hypothetical deadline, we have plenty of salary to match.
Saric vs. Marcus Smart was a huge consideration initially (you'll find out via the email thread in a bit) but with Exum the pick at #3 and these two guys on the same tier for us, Saric won out.
#19: Sixers Select James Young
Just the BPA at this point. We needed a shooting wing to go with the ball-dominant MCW/Exum/Saric and while Young isn't incapable with the ball in his hands, at least initially, we're comfortable letting him chill on the wing and bury shots with his beautiful lefty jumper. He'll be fun in transition with this group as well. Defense is a concern, but since we're confident everywhere else on that end, we can afford to wait for him to improve here.
Imagine how much fun Exum and Young will have together.
#20: Raptors/Mavs/Sixers 3-Team Trade
Sixers Trade: Thaddeus Young, Jason Terry, Arnett Moultrie
Sixers Acquire: John Salmons ($1M buyout), Shane Larkin, Ricky Ledo, Wayne Ellington, 2015 Dallas Unprotected 1st, 2017 NYK 2nd rounder (via TOR)
We had initially made the trade centering around Thad for #20, but we wanted to get a first next year, and Dallas provided the best way to do that. We think that pick could will likely end up in the teens, possibly as high as the late lottery if Dirk Nowitzki finally breaks down. With the Sixers "owing" their pick to Boston (lol playoffs), a 2015 first rounder was huge for us.
And some combination of Larkin, Ledo, and Ellington will become useful players in this system. I like Ellington more than I should. Ledo's a former Sixer (!) and Larkin could be fun as a change of pace backup to MCW with Wroten.
This trade also means Nerlens Noel -- yet to play an NBA game -- is the longest tenured 76ers player.
#30: Sixers/Spurs Trade; Sixers Select Jarnell Stokes
Sixers Trade: #32, #52
Sixers Acquire: #30
Easy trade for us to make -- Spurs didn't want the cap hold of a first rounder, and since this was only a one-round mock and I'm a greedy bastard, I wanted to make another pick.
Stokes is the perfect compliment to Noel and eventually Saric. He and Henry Sims forming a second unit of punishment excites me almost as much as the rest of this fake draft. Really think he'll be a solid pro for a long time.
Second Rounders In Theory
#39: Damien Inglis?
#47: Khem Birch?
#54: Jordan Bachynski?
So there's your draft. With the trading of Thad, J-Rich, and Moultrie, and an acquisition of a first rounder next season, I've fully destroyed any evidence of Doug Collins ever having been here. That felt extremely good. Here's all of our assets, some of whom will have to be let go (anyone but Davies) or assigned to the D-League:
PG: Michael Carter-Williams
SG: DANTE EXUM
SF: JAMES YOUNG
PF: Jason Thompson*
C: Nerlens Noel
Bench Guards: Tony Wroten, Shane Larkin*, Ricky Ledo,* Wayne Ellington*, Elliot Williams, James Anderson
Bench Forwards: JARNELL STOKES, Hollis Thompson, Quincy Acy*, KHEM BIRCH, Brandon Davies, Byron Mullens
Bench Centers: Henry Sims, Jarvis Varnado, JORDAN BACHYNSKI
Stashed: DARIO SARIC, DAMIEN INGLIS, Arsalan Kazemi, Furkan Aldemir
Buyout: John Salmons* ($1M)
Please Agree To A Buyout: Carlos Boozer*
2015 Dallas 1st (unprotected)*
2015 New Orleans 2nd
2015 Portland 2nd*
2015 Golden State 2nd
2016 Denver 2nd
2017 New York 2nd*
2018 LAC 2nd
The only player acquired with sizable salary after this season is Jason Thompson, who we don't mind as the de facto veteran around here for a year or two until Dario Saric comes over. Everybody else expires after this season, opening up a ton of cap space for trades or a big 2015 free agent splash.
Between digging up reclamation projects with upside, loading up on a mix of projectionable studs and role players in the draft, and staying cap flexible after this season, the Philadelphia Liberty Ballers is extremely pleased with how this draft turned out.
Impress me, Hinkie. Your throw.