Let’s split the difference and call this year 4. Simmons was essentially the Hinkie pick even though he didn’t make it. I believe this class is the end of the Process years as it includes Hinkie’s last major transaction.
You’ve offered a lot of caveats on why Hinkie shouldn’t be judged for the product on the court, but that was always the game : lose, lose, lose and then assure management that the next LeBron is just around the corner and ignore the pile of bodies along the way.
It’s Waiting for Godot as a basketball philosophy.
However, LeBron is the second or third best player of all time. And he didn’t win a title until year 9. Jordan didn’t win until year 7. Duncan won in year 2 in a crazy set of scenarios (joining a great team that had had one bad year) that will likely be duplicated by Boston and definitely not Philadelphia.
So if the path for the Sixers is to roll the dice each year for a generational talent and accept 10-win seasons along the way, they’ll still never win because they’ll never have the right guys around the way that Chicago and Miami and San Antonio did.
Lastly, there is a different way. Golden State showed that you can draft smart, develop talent, coach well, make smart free agent decisions, and it can come together. Minnesota and Milwaukee are following this script too and I’d take their chances over Philly’s.