The way the Sixers plans were going in the beginning of this year, most people would agree that it seemed that there was just no sense of direction.
Josh Harris seemed to have heard enough of ‘trusting the process’ from Sam Hinkie and moved on from Hinkie being the lead role in where this organization was going.
Harris brought in Jerry Colangelo to help speed up this ‘process’ by making some dire changes that needed to be made at important positions. One of the most notable being, Ish Smith, who was traded for two first-round picks during the season. The trade proved to be successful as he has been averaging 16 ppg and 8 apg with his second stint so far with the Sixers.
Harris wanted to stop being a laughing stock in this league and to start winning sooner than later, or else this team would be clearly tanking for the top pick.
From Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“Sources have indicated Philly ownership was gung-ho to take one of the Big 3 — Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor or D’Angelo Russell — because taking another unknown European project may not have sat well with a disenchanted fan base”
To be fair to the Sixers franchise, this was the thinking that crossed every teams mind at some point leading up to the draft. As Porzingis climbed draft boards, more and more credible people were explaining how much of a risk Porzingis would be. Everyone remembers how upset most Knicks fans were the night of that draft.
In hindsight, Porzingis probably should have been drafted higher, but Okafor has been stellar so far this season as well. Okafor has the most 20 point plus games this season and is averaging 17.4 ppg and 7.3 rpg. Okafor is lacking on the defensive end which has hampered him in certain match-ups this season.
It is always a mistake to judge how great players will be after such a short amount of playing time. Porzingis has such a great upside at this point, as well as Okafor. Their roles are still limited and will only continue to grow.