The 2013/14 Philadelphia 76ers should be used as model for teaching prospective NBA teams how to tank a once formidable franchise. For years porous NBA teams have been accused of purposely losing games at the end of a lost season in hopes of receiving a higher lottery pick in the upcoming draft. In the past such allegations have been hard to prove as teams would still put a competitive product out on the court. Such is not the case with the sixers who have gutted their entire roster and find themselves in midst of 25 game losing streak. To put things in perspective, the NBA record for most consecutive losses stands at 26, a mark the sixers will undoubtedly attain when they face the Houston Rockets this upcoming Thursday.
Before we go any further, let’s take a quick look at how the sixers and their blundering management got themselves into such a predicament. I know it’s hard to believe, but just three years ago the sixers led by the likes of Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala, pushed Boston’s big three to seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. They were heralded as the next big thing with a young nucleus maturing under the guidance of tenured coach Doug Collins. After far exceeding anyone’s expectations, General Manager Sam Hinkie inexplicably decided to blow up that nucleus the following year by trading Iguodala for temperamental Center Andre Bynum. Marred by injures his whole career, Bynum never once suited up for the sixers and left the following year in free agency. Unable to learn from his mistakes, Hinkie curiously traded away the sixer’s lone all-star, Holiday, for Nerlens Noel an unproven big man out of Kentucky who happened to be rehabbing a recently torn ACL. Just like Bynum, Noel has yet to play this season and further decimated this abysmal squad.
With the 2013/14 sixer’s season all but over, Hinkie’s ineptness shined through once more when he traded former 2nd overall pick Evan Turner for another injury marred former all-star in Danny Granger. Granger, who justly had no interest playing for this train wreck of a franchise, was bought out and never once played a game. Only one player (Thaddeus Young) is on the roster from that Eastern Conference Semifinal team. The current roster is littered with Rookies and former D-Leaguers who quite frankly don’t deserve to be in the NBA. I fully expect the Sixers to break the record for most consecutive losses and would consider it an absolute shocker to see them win a game.