PHILADELPHIA - Is Sam Hinkie actually moving forward?
The love-him-or-loathe-him Sixers general manager delighted his followers on Wednesday night by taking advantage of the Sacramento Kings in a Vlade Divac salary sump.
The Sixers acquired shooting guard Nik Stauskas, power forwards Carl Landry and Jason Thompson, a 2018 protected top-10 pick and the right to swap first-round picks in 2016 and 2017 in a late-night deal with Sacramento. The Kings in turn will receive the rights to two of last week’s second-round draft picks who were set to remain stashed overseas for the time being in Arturas Gudaitis (47th) and Luka Mitrovic (60th).
“I’m excited to start a new chapter in Philly! #The MarathonContinues,” Stauskas tweeted out after YAHOO! Sports reported the deal.
"Thank you to the whole Kings organization for drafting me and helping me start my NBA career. The city and fans were awesome," the University of Michigan product also tweeted.
The move clears significant salary-cap space for Sacramento, which is believed to be targeting players like Portland swingman Wesley Matthews, and Dallas guards Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis.
The Sixers reportedly wanted Stauskas in the 2014 draft and were set to take the 6-foot-6 marksman with the second of two first-round picks at No. 10 overall but when the Kings selected him two spots earlier Hinkie grabbed guard Elfrid Payton and traded him to the Orlando Magic for Dario Saric’s draft rights.
Stauskas wasn't all that impressive during his rookie season, averaging 4.4 points and shooting 36.5 percent from the field. He did, however, get better as the season progressed, connecting on 48 of his final 149 three-pointers.
In Philadelphia he will be given every opportunity to create space for post players like the incoming Jahlil Okafor as well as Nerlens Noel and possibly Joel Embiid, depending on the big man's health situation.
The other two players are more typical Hinkie pickups, the next round of so-called gypsies that Brett Brown is asked to incorporate for short periods or not at all.
The 6-foot-11 Thompson is a local product out of Lenape High School in South Jersey as well as Rider before being taken by the Kings as the 12th overall pick in '08. The big man averaged a career-low 6.1 points and 6.5 rebounds last season and was deemed expendable after Sacramento drafted Willie Cauley-Stein last week.
The 6-foot-9 Landry scored 7.2 points and snared 3.8 rebounds per game and is currently recovering from wrist surgery.