The Philadelphia 76ers are a step closer to completing the process started by former GM Sam Hinkie. Hinkie made smart executive moves and created a process that allowed his teams to simply tank an entire season in order to rejuvenate the franchise with top draft picks. The 76ers have not made a playoff appearance since the 2012 NBA Playoffs when they took the Boston Celtics to seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals, where they would eventually lose.

That following off-season the 76ers parted ways with veteran SF Andre Iguodala, after spending his first eight seasons with the franchise. Since then, the team has drafted and dumped mediocre players and have received some assets in return. In 2012, they drafted the eventual Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams. The following season they worked out a deal with the New Orleans Hornets to receive one of the top prospects in the 2013 draft, Nerlens Noel.

'Trust the Process'

In the 2014 NBA Draft, the 76ers held the No. 3 overall pick. The No. 1 projected pick in the draft that year was the freshman phenom from Kansas University, Joel Embiid. Due to a foot injury suffered just before the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers who was still trying to recover from the loss of Lebron James to the Miami Heat were afraid to take the risk of drafting the big man out of Kansas.

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So, they settled for Andrew Wiggins instead and Philly lucked up and took Embiid with the No. 3 pick.

In the same draft with the No. 14 pick, the 76ers selected F Dario Saric from Croatia. The picks left Sixers fans confused, especially since both players would not be able to see any action that season. Saric at the time had to fulfill a 2-year contract deal he signed with Turkey while Embiid's foot injury kept him sidelined the entire season.

Two seasons later, Philly fans have learned to believe in the slogan inked by Sam Hinkie "Trust the Process." Both Embiid and Saric are the two front-runners this season for the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year award.

Ben Simmons

In the 2015 NBA Draft, the 76ers were able to draft another top prospect from Duke University in Jahlil Okafor. Coming off winning a NCAA national title, fans were excited about the newest prospect.

However, Okafor had a pretty good rookie season that was overshadowed by an off the court fighting incident and injuries down the stretch of the season. The Sixers would eventually wound up tanking another season and fans also would not get the chance to the long-awaited debut of Joel Embiid either for the second straight season.

The 2016 NBA Draft changed everything for Philly. Ben Simmons was by far the top prospect in the draft.

His game was praised by media personalities so much to the point they compared him often to Lebron James. With the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, the 76ers won their first No. 1 pick since 1996 when they drafted Hall of Famer Allen Iverson. However, Philly would be robbed again as Simmons would suffer a foot injury that would eventually cause him to miss what was supposed to be his rookie season.

Dennis Smith Jr.

The 2017 Nba Draft, guards rule the draft. Ironically, the 76ers are in desperate need to draft someone that can play the guard position at the highest level. Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball are seeming more and more locked in at the No.1 and 2 spots, which leaves Philly with a tough call at No. 3. Kentucky's Malik Monk has been a rumored favorite because of his ability to score the ball at a high level.

However, Dennis Smith Jr. just may be the best choice for their needs. He is the next best thing to Fultz from a skill standpoint with a seemingly higher basketball IQ. Fultz is certainly the best prospect, but "DSJ" is arguably the most NBA ready PG in this year's draft. Dennis Smith Jr. averaged 18.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.6 rebounds in his one-and-done season at NC State University (according to ESPN). If the 76ers can pick up Smith Jr. in this year's draft, they may finally have the final piece to the puzzle to help them become a championship dynasty.

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