Jahlil Okafor‘s camp didn’t want him to end up with the Sixers before Philly drafted him in June, sources tell Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. GM Sam Hinkie wasn’t allowed to interview Kristaps Porzingis at his predraft workout in Las Vegas, Pompey also hears. An agent told the Inquirer scribe in October that he wouldn’t want his maximum-salary clientele signing in Philadelphia and would advise mid-tier clients to play for the Sixers only if the team offered to overpay them. It all points to Hinkie’s difficult dealing with agents, though the GM says to Pompey that new executive Jerry Colangelo is changing that.
“Yeah, he’s helped there, too,” Hinkie said. “I think he’s had lot of good advice and I had lots of questions there about ways in which we could do things better. And he’s helped on that front already.”
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- Colangelo implied that he doesn’t have as much power with the Sixers as some might assume, saying that this experience is different from his time with the Suns “because in the past, the buck always stopped with me,” notes Arizona Republic columnist Paula Boivin. Of course, Colangelo was in charge of the Suns as an owner, and he’s merely advising Sixers owner Josh Harris, so the comment isn’t necessarily about his role in Philly’s basketball operations.
- Mike D’Antoni said he’s “happy as heck” to be back in coaching as the lead assistant for the Sixers, and referred to head coach Brett Brown as the top draw for him to come to Philly, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- Nerlens Noel explained some of the reasons why he’s such a fan of Sixers trade acquisition Ish Smith, who also played with the team at the end of last season. Brian Seltzer of Sixers.com has the details. “I think it’s his experience,” Noel said. “Him being as athletic as he is at the point guard position, and being able to create. Just a willing passer. He makes things a lot easier for the people around him. He makes them better.”