A rebuild in the NBA requires patience. There will be a lot of losing in a short amount of time in order to go after the best prospects in multiple classes, seeking the payoff of long-term success.
For the Philadelphia 76ers, their plan was something called “The Process.” It was everywhere. No matter where one went, the slogan of “Trust the Process” was in everyone’s face to get everybody on board with the rebuild.
From the 2013-14 season through the 2016-17 season, the Sixers compiled a 75-253 record. However, their losing efforts brought in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — although Simmons is on his way out — and the Sixers ascended to the top of the East.
Bleacher Report put together its list of rebuilds and had the Sixers ranked in the best category. The rebuild process put together by Sam Hinkie was unconvential for sure, and the draft picks did not produce the best results, but the rebuild forced the league to make changes on intetionally losing. Thus making it a memorable rebuild.
Some of the high draft picks, like Noel or Jahlil Okafor, didn’t work out. But the Process gave Philadelphia two cornerstone-level talents in Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Of course, Simmons may be on the move this summer. And Embiid has yet to lead the team to the finals. So, there’s probably an argument to include Philly in the “jury’s still out” side, but this tank job influenced more than just the Sixers.
Hinkie brought a philosophical shift during his time in Philadelphia. Teams like the current Thunder and Rockets are emboldened to aggressively tank. And the league voted to level the lottery odds in an attempt to dissuade teams from losing on purpose.
The Sixers are still waiting on their chance at winning an NBA championship, but there is no doubt that “The Process” brought the franchise back to relevance. They were fighting for the No. 7 or No. 8 seed in the playoffs year after year before deciding to commit to the rebuild and now they are a title contender.