The Numbers Behind ‘The Process'

Oh, it's been a process.

When Sam Hinkie embarked on the Sixers' massive overhaul five years ago, there was no real way at the time to answer the crucial questions. How long would this plan take? What would be the NBA's response? Would the strategy actually work?

Now we sit here with the Sixers officially in the playoffs for the first time since lockout-shortened the 2011-12 season.

While "the process" won't truly be complete until the Sixers win a championship, let's take a look back at some numbers that led the franchise to this promising point of the rebuild.

The insane number of players that have checked into at least one game for the Sixers since the start of the 2013-14 season.

They range from the completely obscure (guard Malcolm Lee played in one game for two minutes in 2014 and never played in the league again) to the outrageous (never forget that "Shaqtin' a Fool" staple JaVale McGee played six games for the Sixers that same season before being released).

However, we'll stick with the usual good, bad and ugly.

First-round studs Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric fall under the good category, along with developed gems Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell.

As for the bad, underwhelming big men Arnett Moultrie and Daniel Orton jump off the list. Still, point guard Kendall Marshall has to take the spot for worst Sixer during that span ...

... Unless you opt for the ugly category, which should solely belong to Furkan Aldemir. Seriously, the guy played 41 games and never once looked like he knew what was happening on the court.

The number of trades Hinkie pulled off before resigning in 2016. He quickly became known as a wheeler and dealer with five of those swaps coming before Brett Brown was even hired as head coach.

Of course, Hinkie's signature move was a domino deal. In 2013, he traded Jrue Holiday and Pierre Jackson to New Orleans for Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-rounder. That 2014 first-round selection was 10th overall, where the Sixers took Elfrid Payton only to flip him to Orlando for Saric, a 2015 second-round pick and a 2017 first-rounder. The fact Hinkie walked away from that draft with Embiid at No. 3 and Saric at No. 12 along with additional picks in hand looks better every day.

They weren't all winners, though. Hinkie did send a second-round pick to Houston for Aldemir, Royce White and cash. Although, the pick was top-55 protected and never conveyed.

The number of losses the Sixers suffered through to get to this point. 

They were of all varieties. That includes the triple-overtime heartbreaker against Oklahoma City from Dec. 15 this season to the 53-point embarrassment to Dallas all the way back on Nov. 14, 2014.

All the while, Brown managed to keep the locker room together, place his stamp on the style of play and develop an attractive culture for other players. Amazing.

This one goes to the haters. There have been plenty throughout this process but we'll stick to a couple guys that are paid to know basketball.

Mark Cuban: "They have no idea what they're doing."

These days, Cuban is getting fined for telling his team to do the exact same type of tanking.

Adam Silver: "Am I fan of that strategy? Put it this way: No."

Now, the NBA commissioner can't get the Sixers on national TV enough. And they'll be there even more once the postseason gets underway in a few weeks.

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