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Sixers fans should trust Colangelo

The Sixers future is finally looking bright.

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The Sixers future is finally looking bright.

Adam Aaronson, Eastside Staff

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Over the last five years, Sixers fans have had to endure more struggles than any other fanbase as the team underwent a historically painful rebuild, all the while listening to national and local pundits alike bashing the team for their vision, as well as the fans who were in favor of it. Sam Hinkie was the architect of it all, the man who ultimately is responsible more than anyone for the Sixers being in the fantastic position they’re in now. When he was forced out and replaced by Bryan Colangelo, many struggled to find trust in the new leader of the team. There have been many ups and downs throughout his tenure so far, but after the shrewd signing of swingman JJ Redick to a one-year contract, it’s official- it’s time for Sixers fans to put their trust in Bryan Colangelo.

Colangelo came into this job and was dealt a great hand. With young cornerstones in Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and the number one overall pick to allow him to take Ben Simmons, while also having high-caliber role-players in Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington and TJ McConnell, an abundance of high-value future draft picks, and the most cap space in the NBA. And clearly not all has been great for Bryan- he botched the situation regarding the ‘logjam’ at Center, dealing Noel for 25 cents on the dollar and failing to get anything of value for Jahlil Okafor, whose presence on the roster is worthless to the Sixers. The way he repeatedly lied about the injuries to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and the way he mismanaged Embiid’s torn meniscus were, and still are, concerning. But looking at all of the moves he’s made, it’s hard not to say he’s done a great job, even considering the great hand dealt to him by his predecessor.

His first test as GM came in the form of the 2016 draft, and he passed. Selecting Simmons number one overall was a given, but stealing Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Furkan Korkmaz, two players who will prove to be very valuable young assets on the wings, late in the first round was fairly impressive.

After that, he didn’t do anything of major consequence until he made the aforementioned Noel trade, getting remarkably low value in return. Then came the end of the season, and the NBA Draft Lottery. When the Sixers were awarded the third pick due to swap rights Hinkie had acquired from the Kings, it was Colangelo’s time to step up to the plate, and he hit a grand slam. He traded the third pick and one of two future first-rounders (both acquired by Hinkie) to the Boston Celtics for the top pick to get the final piece to the puzzle, Markelle Fultz. And now, the team is in even better shape. And the masterful signing of JJ Redick to a one-year, $23M contract is perfect. He fits better with the Sixers core than anyone in the entire free agency class, and he’s only on the books for one year, allowing the Sixers to pursue other options next summer, and maintain their financial flexibility in the long run.

So while Hinkie will always be more responsible than anyone for the young nucleus that the Sixers have, Bryan Colangelo has done his fair share of good work as well. No matter how you have previously felt about Hinkie or Colangelo, it’s become clear that the team is in good hands with Bryan Colangelo at the helm.

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Sixers fans should trust Colangelo