Initially, the Philadelphia 76ers traded for George Hill to serve as veteran reinforcements for the playoffs.

Then the playoffs rolled around and Hill averaged 4.7 points in 17.1 minutes of action and was vastly outmatched by Tyrese Maxey, Furkan Korkmaz and even sometimes Shake Milton, who enjoyed the playoffs. as hot and cold as you will find it.

OK OK. It is not ideal. Hill was supposed to be a reliable and efficient 3-point shooting combo guard able to play alongside any member of the Sixers’ backcourt without the turnover issues that plagued the team throughout. the season.

But hey, that’s cool. Surely the Sixers would ship Hill and his highly mobile contract out of town with one or more assets to bring back a better-suited piece in the future, right?

… Well, I guess not.

The Philadelphia 76ers lost four picks and Tony Bradley lost to George Hill.

Ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft, Daryl Morey traded $ 2 million to the New Orleans Pelicans for a late second-round pick.

In theory, that sounds like a lot of money for a second round pick, and in a way it was. Last season, the Sixers signed a standard two-pronged contract with Paul Reed worth up to $ 449,155 before extending it to a three-year, $ 3.9 million contract after the trade deadline. Charles Bassey, the player the team ultimately drafted, is he worth four two-way Paul Reeds?

This, my friends, is a topic worth debating, but do you want to know what is unquestionably not worth $ 2 million? A second round pick you can never use as he was traded alongside three others, Tony Bradley, Vincent Poirier, Terrance Ferguson and the rights of Emir Preldžić.

As the trade deadline approached, the world was the Philadelphia 76ers oyster. They were left with choices, players, mobile contracts, and much of their mid-level exception to further bolster their roster if they suddenly found themselves in need of another veteran to fill a legitimate role after a two-or-a-half trade. even three players for one. .

And, to Morey’s credit, the team’s initial decision to trade for Hill was by no means a bad decision. They didn’t give up a first-round pick, got a player back with two years left on his contract and still had enough premium assets on the books to swing a decisive trade for a player like Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, or even Marvin Bagley Jr. if they really wanted to get creative on time.

If one of these deals had been made, perhaps, just maybe, we would see the 2020-21 season in a different light, but sadly, that just wasn’t meant to be. The Sixers found themselves “reinforced” – if you want to call it that – by Hill and Anthony Tolliver and were never really able to replace the production they lost by letting Bradley get to OKC.

But again, it’s cool. Surely some teams would love to add a veteran combo guard with 139 games of playoff experience under that belt to their roster, right? I mean, the Sixers clearly did and paid a much higher price for his services than what would be demanded in a choice-plus-player trade for a better suited player.

* sigh * remember earlier in the article? Does not occur.

But, like, why? Was Hill so undesirable after a series of horrific playoff performances? Or were teams with similarly priced role players, players like Orlando Magic’s Al-Farouq Aminu, just too expensive when Hill’s contract was factored into the equation?

While we never know for sure why the teams weren’t lining up for Hill’s services at $ 10.04 million – although we can make a pretty good guess – that decision may simply be to avoid the hard cap, as an insider of the NBA Bobby Marques pointed out in his post-Furkan Korkmaz extension tweet.

See, with Hill’s $ 10.04million still on the books for the post-Korkmaz expansion, the Sixers were just a simple $ 6 million under tax. While the team could surely surpass that number to further bolster their roster using the Al Horford exception or the MLE, it would press them against the hard ceiling and thus limit the type of moves available to the team in the future.

By releasing Hill a day before his contract was fully secured, the Sixers lost $ 8.725million from the pounds and unleashed their ability to lobby various avenues of team building that may not have been open before. .

Granted, any sort of cap economy considerations are thrown out the window if the Sixers pull off a massive trade for a player like Damion Lillard, Bradley Beal, or De’Aaron Fox, but as a general rule, it’s much better to be. below the cap line of $ 138 million than to exceed it when there are still moves to make in free agency.

Assuming Hill’s market was as weak as the available indices suggest, it might be better to be free from your money for nothing more than a cap of $ 1.225 million rather than having to tie an asset to your. contract while the team still has the option of landing a veteran talent without his corresponding salary?

At this point, this is the most generous read of the material I can muster.

In summary, the Philadelphia 76ers traded their best young developmental big man, a cap filler, and not one, not two, not three, but four second-round picks for a player who didn’t turn the tide. ‘only one playoff game and was finally released for nothing in order to lose money on the ceiling. Yeah, I would call this trade a dismal failure if I ever saw one, right up there with the Boston Celtics trading three seconds for Evan Fournier only to let him sign with the New York Knicks for nothing in free agency. But hey, at least Brad Stevens took Josh Richardson out of this deal, it’s… something, right?