Thursday, June 23, 2016

'The Process' pays off for Sixers tonight

'The Process' is about to come to fruition.

But Sam Hinkie will not be around to see the fruits of his labor.

Hinkie, the man behind 'The Process' that saw the once-proud Sixers franchise reverse course and tank a couple of seasons in hopes of increasing their odds in the NBA Draft Lottery and getting a high draft pick, got bounced in a power shuffle a couple of months ago. Now a very familiar NBA name is calling the shot.

Jerry Colangelo is holding all the cards as he and the Sixers will be in the spotlight tonight for the made-for-TV spectacular otherwise known as the NBA Draft.

They hold the No. 1 pick, and almost assuredly will select LSU standout Ben Simmons. This time last year, everyone was pointing to Simmons as the sure-fire top pick and the next great franchise player. Then an odd thing happened. LSU played its basketball season. They turned out to be fairly mediocre, and questions started to be asked about just how good Simmons was if he could not put his college team on his back and drag them into the NCAA Tournament.

Most of those questions seem to have ebbed.

Simmons will go No. 1 to the Sixers.

But that's when the real intrigue of this draft will kick in.

The Sixers have two more picks in the first round, sitting at No. 24 and 26.

A lot of people believe they will parlay at least one of those picks, along with a player - maybe Nerlens Noel, or Jahlil Okafor? - in an attempt to move up again in the first round.

Here's how our Terry Toohey sees the first round playing out.

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