After nearly 50 losses and a ninth-place finish in 2012-13, Sixers owner Sam Hinkie was brought in as general manager, Brett Brown was hired as the coach, and The Process of rebuilding the team had begun.
Things would get ugly — real ugly — before any hint of improvement was visible. The tanking of games and seasons led to howls from around the league and beyond that this was a bad business model.
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The Sixers are closing in on a second consecutive 50-win season and may have positioned themselves to make a run at the Eastern Conference finals with this week’s trades. Here are some notable moments from along the way.
- The night of the 2013 draft would be a glimpse of how Hinkie would trade assets like kids used to swap baseball cards. Hinkie dealt All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for injured center Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick.
- That first-round pick was eventually flipped for Dario Saric.
- The Process opens with a three-game winning streak, of all things.
- Traded Evan Turner.
- A 26-game losing streak offers the appropriate reality as the Sixers finish 19-63, which oddly was the first year they played in Philadelphia: 1963-64. This franchise really was starting over.
- Selected Joel Embiid with the No. 3 overall pick. Embiid almost surely would have been selected No. 1, but had foot surgery a week before the draft. He sat out two full seasons.
- Started 0-17. Could have been 0-23, but they mixed in an overtime win in Detroit.
- Traded Thaddeus Young.
- Traded Michael Carter-Williams.
- Closed the season by losing their last 10.
- Drafted Jahlil Okafor, who had his moments as a player and a street fighter.
- With an 0-18 start, the Sixers set the record for most consecutive losses with 28.
- Also had two other losing streaks of 12 and another of 13. The 10-72 record would be the low point of the Process.
- Gave Brett Brown a two-year contract extension. They were 1-22 at the time.
- Jerry Colangelo joined the team in December as chairman of basketball operations. His role, ostensibly, was to get the Process to start winning.
- Hinkie resigned with a week left in the season. Colangelo turned the franchise over to his son, Bryan, setting the stage for one of the most bizarre scandals in Philadelphia sports history.
- Hinkie wrote a scathing 13-page letter explaining his abrupt resignation. That also was nuts.
>>From the archives: Sam Hinkie quit on the Sixers | Marcus Hayes
- Selected Ben Simmons with the No. 1 overall pick. He broke a bone in his foot in the final practice of training camp and did not play during the season.
- Dario Saric, after two years in European limbo, arrived.
- Traded Nerlens Noel.
- Climbed to 28-54, but still had the second-worst record in the conference.
- Saric and Embiid finished behind Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon for rookie of the year.
>>From the archives: Grading Sam Hinkie’s prominent moves | Mike Jensen
- Traded the No. 3 pick and a future first-round pick to move up two spots to take Markelle Fultz. The move was a disaster. Boston selected Jayson Tatum with the third pick.
- The sports website The Ringer broke the story that Bryan Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, had created multiple Twitter accounts which criticized Sixers players and executives. Colangelo resigned on June 7, less than two weeks after The Ringer’s report.
- Ben Simmons debuted. It took him four games to notch his first triple-double. He’s done it 21 times entering Friday.
- Joel Embiid started his first All-Star Game; he had 19 points in 20 minutes.
- Finished the season at 27-5 for the team’s first 50-win season since 2000-01. Soundly beat Miami in the first round of the playoffs. Embiid played the series with a protective mask following an eye injury. He jokingly called himself “The Phantom of the Process.”
- Humbled by the Celtics in five games in the East semis as Jayson Tatum averaged a series-high 23.6 points per game.
- Simmons edged out Utah’s Donovan Mitchell for rookie of the year.
- Traded Mikal Bridges on draft night for Zhaire Smith, and also selected Landry Shamet.
- Named Elton Brand general manager.
- Traded Robert Covington and Saric as part of a package for four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler.
- Simmons was selected to play in his first All-Star game. Later that same day, the Sixers beat the Golden State Warriors for the first time since The Process began almost six years ago.
- Cut ties with Fultz and acquired Tobias Harris to give Brett Brown perhaps the best starting unit in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers are 34-20 and in the middle of the pack in the East.
>>FROM THE ARCHIVES: The way the Sixers handled the Covington trade “was weird”
2018-19 (current): Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick, Tobias Harris
2018-19 (former): Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, JJ Redick, Wilson Chandler
2017-18: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, JJ Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric
2016-17: Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington, Ersan Ilyasova, T.J. McConnell, Gerald Henderson
2015-16: Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington, Nerlens Noel, Ish Smith, Robert Covington
2014-15: Robert Covington, Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, Luc Mbah a Moute, fifth starter rotated
2013-14: Thaddeus Young, Michael Carter-Williams, James Anderson, Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes
The 85 players who have appeared in at least one game for the Sixers since the start of the 2013-14 season. New acquisitions James Ennis, Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanović, Mike Scott and Jonathan Simmons could join this list as early as Friday.
A: Furkan Aldemir, Lavoy Allen, James Anderson, Justin Anderson
B: Jerryd Bayless, Marco Belinelli, Jonah Bolden, Trevor Booker, Elton Brand, Corey Brewer, Lorenzo Brown, Jimmy Butler
C: Michael Carter-Williams, Isaiah Canaan, Wilson Chandler, Robert Covington
D: Brandon Davies, Dewayne Dedmon, Larry Drew
E: Joel Embiid
F: Tim Frazier, Markelle Fultz
G: Drew Gordon, Jerami Grant
H: Justin Harper, Spencer Hawes, Gerald Henderson, Haywood Highsmith, Richaun Holmes
I: Ersan Ilyasova
J: Demetrius Jackson, Amir Johnson, Chris Johnson, Darius Johnson-Odom
K: Furkan Korkmaz
L: Carl Landry, Malcolm Lee, Shawn Long, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
M: Kendall Marshall, Eric Maynor, Luc Mbah a Moute, James Michael McAdoo, T.J. McConnell, K.J. McDaniels, Javale McGee, Shake Milton, Darius Morris, Arnett Moultrie, Byron Mullens, Mike Muscala
N: Nerlens Noel, James Nunnally
O: Jahlil Okafor, Daniel Orton
P: Alex Poythress, Phil Pressey, Jacob Pullen
R: Chasson Randle, J.J. Redick, Jason Richardson, Glenn Robinson, Thomas Robinson, Sergio Rodriguez
S: JaKarr Sampson, Dario Saric, Landry Shamet, Alexey Shved, Ben Simmons, Henry Sims, Ish Smith, Tiago Splitter, Nik Stauskas
T: Adonis Thomas, Malcolm Thomas, Hollis Thompson, Evan Turner
V: Jarvis Varnado
W: Casper Ware, Sonny Weems, Elliot Williams, Christian Wood, Tony Wroten