Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has done it again.
Late on Wednesday night Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported that the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings had worked out a trade. The Kings are desperate to free up some cap space so they can pursue free agents and Hinkie, well Hinkie did what he always does: come in a take everything but the kitchen sink without anyone noticing.
In the deal, the Sixers walk away with guard Nik Stauskas, forwards Carl Landry and Jason Thompson, a top-10 protected first-round pick in 2018 and the right to swap first-round picks with the Kings in 2016 and 2017.
The Kings get the rights to the Sixers’ 2015 second-round picks Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic as well as almost $16 million is salary cap relief. The Kings were apparently desperate to shed some payroll as they want the flexibility to pursue some of the better free agents on the market.
Those that are left, anyway.
There are a lot of draft implications to the deal that should be a help to the Sixers down the road and give the team a lot of options in future drafts. Meanwhile, Landry and Thompson are both signed through the 2016-17 season with Landry’s contract fully guaranteed at $6.5 million and only $2.65 million of Thompson’s contract guaranteed for next season. (per Derek Bodner)
But the real reason the deal is huge for the Sixers is Stauskas.
Stauskas was the 8th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft and a player the Sixers had on their board on draft night. There were even rumors during last season the the Kings were interested in trading Stauskas for Nerlens Noel, but nothing ever came of it. Regardless, the 6-foot-6, 205 pound shooting guard out of Michigan is a natural shooter with a 44 percent career 3-point average and exactly what the Sixers need in the backcourt.
Stauskas had a rough rookie season with the Kings where he only averaged 4.4 points, 0.9 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 73 games. He spent much of the year on the bench averaging around 15 minutes a game and has been accused of being a one dimensional player. That being said, his stats did make a decent jump after the All-Star break and if Sixers coach Brett Brown has shown us anything it’s that developing players like Stauskas are right up his alley.
As for Landry and Thompson, the 76ers have indicated the plan is to keep both on the roster at this point. Landry, who averaged 7.2 points a game last year, will likely simply play out the rest of his contract and then be sent on his way. Thompson averaged 6.1 points a game and, if he plays well, could be used at the trade deadline to load up on more assets.
Like most of the deals Hinkie has done as the Sixers GM, this is another low risk/high reward situation that could pay huge dividends down the road. With the addition of Stauskas and Jahlil Okafor to a team with Noel and a healthy Tony Wroten, the days of tanking may finally be over.
The Kings, on the other hand, are still the Kings. That hasn’t really been a plus for a very long time.
The deal is expected to be finalized on July 9.