It has been as tough a year as anyone could possibly imagine to root for the Philadelphia 76ers. Coming into the season every sports fan in the Delaware Valley knew the Sixers were trying to lose. With a bounty of talented college players set to enter the league in this off-season's draft, tanking to improve your odds in the lottery was a no-brainer decision.

Still, logic- no matter how sound it may be- isn't always fun. Watching your favorite basketball team tank for an entire season is the sports equivalent of being told to eat your vegetables. You know it's the right thing to do but it tastes awful and you hate every second of it.

The last couple weeks have been especially painful. In the campaign's early days the Sixers were at least competitive on their way to most of their losses. Lately however, their competitive fire has been extinguished. Philadelphia was getting blown out seemingly every time it took the floor, getting so bad head coach Brett Brown described the team's condition as suffering from beat-down mode. That has to be as bad as it gets

So any piece of good news was something Philly fans were obviously going to cling onto. People anticipated significant moves for the organization before Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline. And while the Sixers did not do anything to transform their organization overnight, they turned in several shrewd moves that put the team in a far better position than where they were when the day began.

The roster upheaval began with the departure of center Spencer Hawes, who had long overstayed his usefulness in the city of brotherly love. Hawes, who doesn't really do anything well but does a bunch of things in mediocre fashion, was shipped to Cleveland in exchange for an expiring contract and two second-round picks. Obviously no one will confuse that bounty with Black Beard's lost treasure, but when you're trying to change the culture of a professional basketball team, anyone who fits the description listed above simply has to move on.

Just a few short hours later, the Sixers made another move, receiving a solid backup point guard (Eric Maynor) and two second-round draft picks without having to give up anything in return.

Then Hinkie capped off his productive day by terminating the Evan Turner era in Philadelphia. In return for getting rid of Turner, the former number two overall pick, who never quite fit in in Philadelphia and had out-stayed his welcome, the Sixers got a talented yet injury prone player, who if he could ever stay healthy could contribute on a championship caliber team.

Who knows what Danny Granger will contribute during his tenure with the 76ers. He may not ever play in Philadelphia  and almost certainly won't be with the team beyond this season.  If that's the case, the Sixers still got rid of Turner, who needed to go, and took a flier on a highly paid, talented guy, who, worst-case scenario, will free up a ton of cap sapace when he leaves. 

Isn't that the picture-perfect definition of the type of deal you want your team to pull the trigger on?

I say absolutely, which is why this is the first time I'm happy to call myself a Sixers fan in a long time.

With two first-round draft picks this year, a seemingly countless number of second-round selections, a rookie of the year candidate on the current roster and another top-five first-round choice set to come off the injured list soon, the Sixers have as strong a foundation as any team other than the Heat, Thunder, Warriors and Pacers in the entire NBA.

Now they just have to avoid blowing this summer's draft. After watching Hinkie operate for the last six months though, I feel like he is better equipped than anyone to evaluate the deepest class of college talent to enter the NBA in a decade.

In other words, maybe it's pretty good to be a Sixers fan