I’m not one for conspiracy theories. Reading tea leaves? Sometimes. Like, when Anthony Davis signed with Lebron James’ Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports Group last month, one could make the case that AD might entertain signing with the Lakers after the 2019-20 season. I digress.

According to Woj, the NBA is considering pushing back the rumored season to end the One-and-Done rule – the rule that prevents players from entering the NBA Draft directly from high school. No big deal, right? For many it wouldn’t be an issue, until you remember that the Sixers traded Mikal Bridges for Zhaire Smith and an unprotected 2021 first-round pick that belonged to the Miami Heat. For those who need a refresher, Sixers head coach and de facto president of basketball operations Brett Brown said of the pick:

“…and then there’s a 2021 pick and we all understand that that could be the year that high school people are allowed into the NBA and that is far out and it also could be the thing.”

So what does this have to do with Adam Silver and conspiracies? What if I told you this trade was a catalyst for postponing the end of the One-And-Done rule?

Per Woj:

“Phoenix traded the rights to Miami’s unprotected 2021 first-round pick to Philadelphia in June, and the moving of that valued pick played some part in pushing back the proposed rule change to 2022, league sources said. Those teams made decisions without the benefit of knowing the timetable on a change in the age limit. The first crop of high school seniors will be deeper in talent than those who come immediately before and after it.”

That’s right, ladies and gents, Silver’s league office is attempting to perpetuate this narrative that teams had no idea a change to the One-And-Done rule could be coming. EXCEPT THEY SENT A MEMO TO TEAMS ABOUT ABOLISHING THE ONE-AND-DONE RULE AS EARLY AS 2021 A WEEK PRIOR TO THE JUNE 21ST NBA DRAFT ON JUNE 15TH!!! 

I’m quite frankly beside myself. Using a team’s trade as a reason to dictate an entire league-wide policy is poor practice. Lying publicly about teams being mislead is lunacy. This isn’t the first time the league office has directly adversely affected decision-making relating to the Sixers.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has had a spotty track record as it pertains to the Sixers since taking over for former commissioner David Stern in 2014. It wasn’t until December 2015 when Silver’s fingerprints appeared for the first time publicly at the murder scene of The Process. December 7th, 2015 – as any Process-truster has likely committed to memory – was the day Jerry Colangelo was hired as Chairman of Basketball Operations, effectively placing a hand around the throat of The Process.

As Woj reported that day:

“Since the summer of 2014, NBA owners have been lobbying the league’s front office to step in with regard to the direction of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told ESPN.com on Monday night. It was that effort that helped lead to the hiring of Jerry Colangelo to a senior position…”

Woj also stated:

“Despite Colangelo’s affirming Hinkie will retain final say on personnel matters and Harris’ saying this move was not a deviation from their plan, those who know Colangelo believe he will have major influence on significant decisions going forward.”

Fast forward FOUR MONTHS: Sam Hinkie resigned from his post, citing “all the changes to [the Sixers’] organization” while ESPN’s Marc Stein reported:

“…Hinkie, sparked heavily by the Sixers’ interest in hiring two-time NBA Executive of the Year Bryan Colangelo to join their front office, decided to leave the organization rather than surrender even more authority than he already had this season.”

Three days later, Jerry’s son Bryan was hired as President of Basketball Operations.

So here we are, Sixers fans, once again feeling like there’s an even bigger opponent to the Sixers’ success than the Boston Celtics.