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Explaining the Sixers-Magic Trade: Not Just Dario Saric; Future Draft Balance Restored

Doug Collins has been abolished.

This is Doug Collins's face when he realizes he's disappearing.
This is Doug Collins's face when he realizes he's disappearing.

The Sixers picks at the NBA Draft are certainly polarizing people. Joel Embiid will need time to recover from his foot injury. Dario Saric will remain in Turkey for two more years. Spencer Dinwiddie was *right there* and is not a Sixer. But ultimately, Hinkie's savviest move of the night was in the trade with the Orlando Magic that got him Saric in exchange for Elfrid Payton.

If you dive back, deep into the recesses of your mind, you'll recall The Arnett Moultrie Trade, in which the Sixers traded a three-year lottery protected first round pick to the Miami Heat for the 27th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, which became the right to select Arnett Moultrie. Dig deeper into your repressed memory, and you'll recall the The Andrew Bynum Trade (read at own risk). Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic were all scattered to Denver and Orlando, but the most important piece for this conversation was another lottery protected first round pick that would go to Orlando two years after the pick in the Arnett Moultrie trade was conveyed.

Well, as you know the Sixers did not make the playoffs in 2013. The Sixers did not make the playoffs in 2014. Providing the Sixers do not make the playoffs in 2015, the Arnett Moultrie pick (which Miami traded to Boston earlier this season) will turn into a 2015 2nd round pick and a 2016 2nd round pick, both going to the Celtics. Once that happens -- and it will, the Sixers aren't making the playoffs this season -- that would mean the pick that was supposed to go to Orlando starts that same three year clock in 2017. The Magic would have gotten the pick whenever the Sixers made the playoffs.

Not anymore.

In trading the rights to Elfrid Payton to move down just two spots, the Sixers got that pick back from Orlando, essentially extinguishing the Andrew Bynum trade and the stipulations that pick had with it. Once the Sixers do not make the playoffs this season and give Boston two 2nd rounders, they will no longer owe anybody anything. They can trade any future pick they want. A totally clean slate.

So in sliding back two spots and taking the guy they wanted anyway in Dario Saric, Sam Hinkie has destroyed one of the final remnants of the Doug Collins and Rod Thorn era. That Arnett Moultrie trade was an unmitigated disaster from the get-go, and it's only going to cost them a 2016 2nd round pick (since they also got a 2015 2nd from Orlando in the Saric/Payton deal), a draft in which they already have an extra 2nd rounder coming from Denver in the Eric Maynor trade.

While Joel Embiid and Dario Saric were tremendous, high upside picks themselves, this trade was Hinkie's best move of the draft. So goodbye, Doug Collins. Let him wash away like rain. Thank you Elfrid Payton and the Orlando Magic for allowing Hinkie to fully destroy him from our consciousness.

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