The 2010s were a bit all over the place for the Sixers in terms of success. True the team did add superstars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and the Sixers have reached the second round the past two years, but it was far from all sunshine and roses. The Sixers experienced a lot of turmoil, ridicule, and damage to their image and rightfully so. The organization made many mistakes this decade and it set the team back years. That seems to be behind them now but remember the past is crucial to avoid repeating history. Some
We already discussed the top ten Sixers moments this decade, no we’ll talking the biggest mistakes the team made. If you want to take a walk in Sixers history you’ll find the top ten Sixers moments below:
Now back to the negativity. Here are the top five biggest mistakes the Sixers made this decade:
Drafting Michael Carter-Williams – In the first year of the Process, the Sixers were looking to find players they deemed to be projects. Players who would one day be stars but not so quickly that the team was too competitive. In comes MCW, a lanky point guard with great vision and defense but a broken jump shot. The short version is that he didn’t progress as hoped and was eventually traded for a first-round pick. Let me tell you, that was a miracle, MCW was at no time worth the eventual lottery pick the team got for him.
Now anyone could drive themselves made thinking about the players a team SHOULD have drafted, but the fact is that Giannis Antetokounmpo was drafted just two spots later. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE knew what Giannis would become but, you can question the decision of a team valuing potential above all else drafting an underdeveloped sophomore over an 18yo freak athlete.
Trading Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel – In the first major move of the Process era, the Sixers traded budding star Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel. The thought was that the team needed to procure young players who would develop into stars while selling literally anything else to obtain more young stars. The problem with the trade is that the traded an existing young star for a bust. Clearly, Holiday has been the better player since the trade and even if you demanded that Holiday be traded, there were still many players taken after who were better than Noel.
Nerlens Noel was the consensus number one overall pick before tearing his ACL and even after was considered to be a top prospect (in a weak draft). Drafting is much tougher than it seems but its frustrating when you see players like CJ McCollum, Steven Adams, Giannis Antetokounmpo drafted within the next ten picks.
NUMBER 5 – Drafting Jahlil Okafor
When the Sixers draft Okafor with the third overall pick they were between a rock and a hard place. Okafor was originally thought to be the top player in the draft and yes the Sixers did have Embiid but many thought he would never play. This is made even more complicated when you consider that Kristaps Porziņģis refused to work out for the Sixers and wanted no part of the team.
Now again, when the consensus is that a player is the best available, it’s hard to argue against it. What is unfortunate though is that there were quality players drafted later: Justice Winslow (10), Myles Turner (11), Devin Booker (13), Kelly Oubre Jr. (15). Considering two of the Sixers’ top prospects played the same position as Okafor and the team was still tanking, it is a bit disappointing that the team overvalued the best player available instead of trading down and acquiring draft capital.
NUMBER 4 – The Colangelos
The brain behind the Process, Sam Hinkie, was forced out of office when the Sixers brought in the Colangelo’s. The Sixers were tired of losing and wanted to bring Jerry Colangelo in to speed up the process (pun sincerely intended). Jerry, in one of the finest examples of nepotism that you will find, quickly brought in his son Bryan, and thus set into motion one of the most embarrassing front offices the NBA has ever seen.
True, Colangelo did draft Ben Simmons, but this isn’t really an accomplishment as Simmons was the most herald prospect since LeBron James. Here is a list of Bryan’s “accomplishments”:
Trade Nerlens Noel for peanuts (Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and two second-round draft picks)
Traded up for Markelle Fultz against the advisement of the rest of the front office while giving up a first-round pick in the process.
Linked to four burner accounts (three were his wife’s, one was his) on Twitter which were used to trash Sam Hinkie, Joel Embiid, and Jahlil Okafor.
This would eventually be the cause for Bryan’s departure from the team as it would be also for his father Jerry. Also, on his way out, Jerry threatened to damage the Sixers’ relationship with every sing;e NBA team.
Clearly not the best hire in team history…
NUMBER 3 – Drafting Evan Turner
I know it’s hard to believe, but yes, Evan Turner was drafted this decade. What feels like a terrible decision made just yesterday yet somehow forever ago, drafting Evan Turner comes in at number 3. Turner may not be the biggest bust in Sixers history, but he is up there. Now in fairness, Turner was projected by most to be the consensus number two prospect, and he was believed to be much more of a scoring option than he was. That just wasn’t the player Turner turned out to be. Instead, the Sixers got a much less athletic version of Andre Iguodala, a player already on their roster.
What makes this sting all the more is that there was some serious talent drafted behind Turner. DeMarcus Cousins drafted three spots later, was the headcase nobody wanted but he was the most talent Center in the NBA for a long while. Gordon Hayward was seen as a reach when drafted 9th but even with the injuries he’s seen lately, he was clearly a steal. And finally the best player in the draft, Paul George was drafted number 10 overall. George was actually the exact player the Sixers THOUGHT they were getting when they draft Turner. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be.
Continued on the page below.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports