PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The way Sixers fans chant “Hin-kie” or tweet #InHinkieWeTrust or wear shirts with his name and face on them at a draft lottery party on Tuesday night, you would think the Sixers were playing in the Eastern Conference Finals. In actuality, the Sixers are coming off a 19-win season in Hinkie’s first year as general manager, finishing with the second worst record in the NBA. Sixers fans, nevertheless, have quickly warmed to Hinkie, appreciating the moves he has made to begin the rebuilding process, putting the Sixers in position to succeed going forward.
The Sixers have two top-10 picks in the first-round of the 2014 NBA draft thanks to a 2013 draft day Hinkie trade. Hinkie also drafted the NBA rookie of the year in Michael Carter-Williams with the 11th pick in last year’s draft, but he says fans shouldn’t expect that every year.
“Sometimes I think people have too much [faith],” Hinkie told WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis on Thursday afternoon. “I think we sort of have to be reasonable that like, a lot of what we do is try to work hard and try to find an edge and often the edges are pretty small. Every player we pick won’t be great. Every player, for sure, won’t be rookie of the year like Michael [Carter-Williams] was this year.”
Besides the third and 10th overall selections, the Sixers also have five second-round picks. Hinkie says he looks to be aggressive with those picks.
“We can sort of maybe think it a little differently,” Hinkie said. “I think if you only have one pick and it’s one second rounder, I think maybe there’s a different set of pressure. We’re looking to be aggressive and we’re looking to find ways where we can add players to our team and we know, by definition, second rounders—they’re not impossible—but they’re longer shots.”
Hinkie also provided an update with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Nerlens Noel. Noel, 20, missed the entire 2013-14 season after tearing his ACL in February as a Kentucky Wildcat. The Sixers expect Noel to make his debut this summer.
“Nerlens is feeling good,” Hinkie said. “Everything is checking out fine. We’re obviously monitoring him very closely. He feels fine at this point. He’s been playing a fair bit of pick up lately. He was practicing with the team for the last couple weeks of the season without any restriction, that was good. We’re excited. I suspect he’ll make a debut this summer in summer league.”