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Why did 76ers trade MCW?

Was dealing Michael Carter-Williams for a protected pick a wise move? Only time will tell. Christopher Szagola/Cal Sport Media/ AP Images

Fittingly, the same week Pablo Torre described in ESPN The Magazine how Sam Hinkie is rebuilding the Philadelphia 76ers, the team's general manager and president of basketball operations made perhaps the boldest of his many moves since arriving in Philadelphia two years ago.

Just before Thursday's trade deadline, the Sixers sent their starting point guard and the reigning rookie of the year, Michael Carter-Williams, to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade that netted the Sixers only a draft pick. Carter-Williams, one of Hinkie's first two picks in Philadelphia, was the kind of young talent around whom the team was supposedly building, making the deal challenging to explain -- but also revealing to explore.

Swinging for the fences

If I had to interpret Hinkie's philosophy -- something Torre did so eloquently -- I would point to a quote from the news conference introducing him to the local media.

"Just beating the average by a bit, in a pool of 30 competitors," Hinkie told reporters, "will serve only to disappoint us in the long run."