Trust the Process has become scripture in Philadelphia. When now-former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie came on board with the 76ers ahead of the 2013-14 NBA season, no one expected the beginning of one of the most awe-inspiring rebuilds in league history. The former Houston Rockets exec set into motion an elaborate plan. Now, five years later, that plan is beginning to show signs of promise and inspiring other teams, like the Dallas Mavericks (whose owner has publicly admitted to tanking), to fail in an effort to succeed.
But it wasn’t always Shirley temples and Chick-fil-A sandwiches for the Process Era Sixers. Before Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid surged the city into a frenzy, it was years of living at bottom of the barrel. During Hinkie’s brief tenure, the team never won more than 19 games in a season, while still managing to develop a cult-like following. So it was much to the chagrin of the local fans when he was unceremoniously forced out after a 1-21 start to the 2015-16 season.
Now, despite being the brain trust behind one of the best upstarts in sports, Hinkie had a fair share of misses as well. With that being said, let’s take a look at the four worst Philadelphia 76ers players of the Process Era*.
*Process Era includes years 2013 through 2017
There’s no debating that Kendall Marshall was an outstanding leader at UNC. The NBA, however, wasn’t nearly as kind to the Tar Heel. Despite showing signs of life early on in his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Marshall’s potentially promising career was quickly derailed by injuries. Marshall, who suffered an ACL injury in his rookie season, managed to stretch out four years in the league with four different teams. And while there were ups and downs throughout, it was his time with the Sixers that was especially pitiful.
Marshall started just six games for the squad in the 2015-16 season and appeared in a total of 30. Over that stretch with the team, he averaged just under four points and two assists in 13 minutes per game. Now while that might not seem terrible, let’s not forget about his field goal percentage. The point guard shot an extremely rough 36 percent from the field. Needless to say, he ended his career in Philadelphia and never suited up in the NBA again. Some guys just aren’t meant for the big stage, and it seems as though Marshall fell into that category.
Status: Marshall retired from basketball in 2017.
Sonny Weems had a roller coaster of a career in the NBA. After a poor rookie season with the Denver Nuggets, he turned in two solid years with the Toronto Raptors as a quality role player. In his second year in Toronto, he even averaged 9.2 PPG in 24 minutes nightly. And then, inexplicably, as his stock was rising, Weems vanished to Europe for 4 full years.
The road back to the NBA wasn’t necessarily a difficult one for the former Arkansas Razorback. Weems and his Russian comrades won three consecutive VTB United League Championships from 2013-2015. And just like that, the Phoenix Suns came calling. Despite signing a two-year deal, however, the marriage was short-lived. After 36 games in Phoenix, the Suns waived Weems just before the season’s end.
Enter Sam Hinkie. The bold GM signed Weems in March 2016, hoping to revive his once encouraging career. Unfortunately for both parties, there wasn’t much gas left in the tank. Weems played in only seven games with the Sixers before being released after tearing his right quadriceps. In that time, he shot a pedestrian 33 percent from the field and only managed 2.4 PPG in 11.1 MPG. That was the last NBA action that Weems would see.
Status: Weems currently plays for Anadolu Efes Spor Kulübü of the Turkish Basketball Super League.
At 6’5″ and 189 lbs., Lorenzo Brown has the perfect measurables to be a dream NBA point guard. The playmaker, who garnered Second Team All-ACC honors with NC State, even declared early for the NBA Draft following a remarkable junior season. Despite being waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who selected him the second round, Brown saw his first professional action in Philadelphia after a brief D-League pit stop.
With Philly, Brown didn’t shine as bright as he did in college. He came off the bench in 26 games with the club, averaging 2.5 PPG and virtually nothing else worth noting. The 30 percent shooter was constantly being re-assigned to the D-League and ultimately was waived by the organization in March 2014.
Despite being put down a few times, the veteran has continued to persevere through the adversity. He’s been named a D-League All-Star on multiple occasions, and he managed to stick around a league with a notably short average career.
Status: Brown is currently signed to a two-way contract, splitting time with both the Toronto Raptors and their G-League affiliate, the Raptors 905.
James Nunnally didn’t enjoy a traditional path to the NBA. He played four years at UC Santa Barbara before going undrafted in 2012 and signing overseas for two years. While across the ocean, he was able to perform exceptionally well, and thus garnered the interest of several NBA franchises.
Following brief stints with the Atlanta Hawks and in the D-League, Nunnally was given just nine games with the 76ers to prove that he could play at the pro level. Unfortunately for the 6’7″ forward, he would do no such thing. The former Gaucho shot a miserable 32 percent from the field and 60 percent from the foul line, averaging just 2.9 points and 1.2 rebounds in 13 minutes. He’d never see another minute of NBA action following his lone year with the Sixers.
Nunnally has, however, had success on the European circuit. Not only has he claimed a EuroLeague title, but he also turned out an MVP season while playing in Italy. It’s certainly been a valiant bounce-back from his NBA struggles.
Status: Nunnally currently plays for Fenerbahçe Doğuş of the Turkish Basketball Super League.
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