Reminder: A Sixers Win Tonight Can Really Help Their Pick Swap Chances With the Kings

One of the more amazing deals Former Process Overlord Sam Hinkie pulled off during his tenure as General Manager of the Sixers was the 2015 trade with the Sacramento Kings that landed Nik Stauskas and a couple of extremely overpaid players in Philadelphia in exchange for the draft rights to a couple of foreign players you'd likely never heard of.

If you look at Nik's transactions page, it'll show he was "traded to the 76ers, along with Carl Landry and Jason Thompson in exchange for Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic on July 9, 2015."

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But it was the additional draft considerations that were also involved in that deal that are turning into what could be the true prize of that trade.

The exact specifics are complicated, but the way the standings and first round pick Sacramento owes to the Chicago played out last season, the Sixers currently own the right to swap picks in 2017 with the Kings if their pick falls in the top 10 of the draft.

But it gets better: the Sixers also now own the Kings' unprotected first round pick in 2019.

All of that because Sam Hinkie was willing to let the Kings free up cap space, using Philly's dusty check book to pay the salaries of Carl Landry and Jason Thompson.

The additional draft considerations in the now infamous trade were the kind of fine print that many Hinkie detractors wrote off as inconsequential, but that the Process Trusters believed to be the smart sort of long bet that could pay off big time in the future.

And the idea of the Sixers and Kings swapping picks in 2017 is becoming more of a possibility than most originally thought.

The Kings recently lost their second-leading scorer and rebounder in Rudy Gay for the season after having surgery on his Achilles.

Coming into tonight's rescheduled game in Philadelphia, the Kings hold the tenth-worst record in the league with a record of 19-29, only two more wins than the Sixers at 17-29.

A Sixers win tonight - you really wonder why Joel Embiid was resting on Sunday? - and the Sixers will have the same number of losses as the Kings and only one less win with a tad less than half of the season to play.  

You could also argue, despite a rough weekend, the Sixers are trending up in 2017. Brett Brown's team has had the opportunity to grow and learn one another, with rotations that are starting to make more sense. While the Kings, well, they're 4-6 over their last ten games and aren't showing all that much that makes you believe they will be playing as hard down the stretch as the Sixers. Marc Stein had the Kings ranked 28th in his latest power rankings.

There are plenty of websites that give updated odds on the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery. They don't look great for the Kings right now, but that could easily change with a string of losses for Sacramento.

The bottom line is that the pick swap is another fun wrinkle that may or may not come into play once the season ends. But, like it will be tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, it's going to be fun rooting against the Kings for the remainder of the season. 

It's also worth noting that Stauskas has clearly been working on expanding his game this season, flashing signs of athleticism that are making him more than just a threat from beyond the arc. Of all of the existing players that were in that trade, Nik is the only one who could potentially be a long-term piece to the Sixers puzzle. Just need the Sauce to get a little hotter from time to time.

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