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(At this point, it has to be for attention that Howard Eskin says things like this, right?)
The irony of the Sixers-Kings deal is how much the trade proves the old approach to the NBA is disastrous. The “Hinkie Process” might not be right, either (the plane may never land, winning may never become a priority, etc.) but, damn, if the Sacramento Kings didn’t make a hole a chasm.
Think about why the deal happened: A few years ago, in an attempt to stay somewhat relevant, the Kings slightly overpaid mediocre free agent Carl Landry to come to town and slightly overpaid Jason Thompson to stay put. Cap strapped, the Kings needed to unload both to make a run at Monta Ellis (already signed with the Pacers), Wesley Matthews (already signed with the Mavericks) and Rajon Rondo (still a possibility).
Out of the Kings’ desperation, the Sixers somehow swindled the option to swap picks with the Kings in ’16 or ’17 (a pick already in jeopardy to go to the Bulls if the Kings are too good because of the horrible trade for J.J. Hickson). Despite all attempts to stay relevant, the Kings were the sixth worst team in the NBA last year. Right now, they look worse off. However, they can’t completely tank because there’s really no benefit. Especially if the Sixers are improved. Is it realistic Philly improves by five games and the Kings actually get five games worse, thus ceding their pick to the Sixers? Considering the offseason at this point, the team’s respective conferences and the soap opera that is unraveling in Sacramento, this isn’t a pipe dream.
Plus, the Sixers get a future first round pick from the Kings.
Plus, Landry and Thompson, who aren’t terrible. The pair roughly cost what the Celtics paid for Amir Johnson.
Plus, Nik Stauskas.
But, to Eskin’s “point”, how much can one get excited about Stauskas who averaged 4.4 points per game off the bench last year for a very poor Kings team?
To start, plenty of Hinkie-ites (is that a thing?) would have been thrilled to have Stauskas at 10 in the ’14 draft. Stauskas went eighth overall and the Sixers headed the asset direction. However, from most accounts, Stauskas’ rookie campaign was a flop.
Is that cause for concern? Maybe, but enjoy Stauskas sinking 70 of 76 threes IN THE RAIN in his backyard before we project out his career: Continue Reading