Sam Hinkie

Atlantic Notes: Biyombo, Joseph, Celtics, Hinkie

Bismack Biyombo‘s free agency stock is rising after a 26-rebound, four-block performance Saturday night, relates Ohm Youngmisuk of Biyombo, who added seven points as Toronto topped Cleveland in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, is taking advantage of increased playing time since starting center Jonas Valanciunas was sidelined with a badly sprained ankle. After Saturday’s game, Raptors coach Dwane Casey compared Biyombo to a rebounding legend. “He reminds me of a guy like [Dennis] Rodman going for the rebounds,” Casey said. “He knows where the ball is coming off, he has a sense of where it’s coming off, and he does a good job doing that.” Biyombo has a $3MM player option for next season, but much larger offers will almost certainly be waiting if he decides to opt out.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Another key to Saturday’s win was backup point guard Cory Joseph, writes Chris O’Leary of The Toronto Star. Joseph contributed 14 points, five rebounds and three assists as starter Kyle Lowry got into early foul trouble. It’s what the Raptors were hoping for when they signed the former Spur to a four-year, $30MM deal last summer in an effort to improve their bench.
  • All the focus is on the Celtics’ third overall pick, but the team has two more selections in the first round, notes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. Boston owns the rights to Dallas’ pick at No. 16, along with its own choice at No. 23, giving team officials a wide range of players to scout for draft night. “The higher the draft pick, you just have a better chance,” said Austin Ainge, Boston’s director of player personnel. “There’s going to be really good players available at 16. There’s going to be really good players available at 23. It’s just harder to identify in that range.”
  • Getting the top pick in the draft validated former GM Sam Hinkie’s approach, but the Sixers will benefit from replacing him, contends Ken Berger of Berger admits that Hinkie, who resigned last month, left behind a bright future in Philadelphia. But he also points out that Hinkie damaged the team’s reputation with free agents through three years of losing, the second-round picks he accumulated have produced very little talent and the roughly $50MM in cap room the Sixers possess is undervalued because the escalating salary cap means virtually every team will have money to spend this summer.

Atlantic Rumors: Hornacek, Brown, Hinkie, Embiid

Running the triangle may not be a job requirement for Jeff Hornacek if he becomes the next coach of the Knicks, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Hornacek’s teams in Phoenix were at their best when he was using a two point guard approach and playing at a fast pace. During an appearance tonight on Sirius XM Radio, former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy said team president Phil Jackson is willing to be flexible with his favorite offense. “The things I’ve heard is that he’s not going to be required to run the triangle,” Van Gundy said. “Which is smart from the standpoint that he’s never taught it before. So you don’t want to come in trying what you’ve never played in or taught. I’m interested in that. But I think it’s an inspired choice.” Bondy notes that Jackson has been a fan of Hornacek for some time, as he tried to acquire him as a player for the Bulls in 1994.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers coach Brett Brown told Chris Mannix of The Vertical that he expects to see former GM Sam Hinkie back in the NBA soon. Appearing on The Chris Mannix Show podcast, Brown credited Hinkie with helping to build a bright future in Philadelphia. Brown said Joel Embiid is “doing great” both from an attitude and a physical perspective, and the Sixers are optimistic that he can play next season, although no decision has been made about summer league.
  • GM Bryan Colangelo turned down the Sixers when they first asked him about taking the job, according to Zach Lowe of He didn’t change his mind until six weeks later, when team owners explained the different direction they were hoping to take.
  • If getting the No. 3 pick in the draft gives the Celtics an opportunity to trade for Sixers center Jahlil Okafor, they should jump at the chance, contends Gary Tanguay of CSNNE. Tanguay commented on a rumor that Philadelphia would be willing to give up Okafor in exchange for the pick so it can take Providence point guard Kris Dunn. The writer thinks Okafor would improve dramatically in Boston because the Celtics have a better coach in Brad Stevens and players who would do a better job of getting him the ball in the low post.

Eastern Rumors: Bulls, Celtics, Pistons, Sixers

Bulls GM Gar Forman wouldn’t rule out the idea of trading Jimmy Butler when asked Wednesday night, notes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Both Forman and Executive VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson made it clear no one on the roster is truly off-limits for a trade, Johnson writes, and changes are coming to coach Fred Hoiberg‘s coaching staff, sources tell Johnson. Still, Hoiberg will be sticking around, Paxson confirmed, according to Johnson, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf issued a statement backing Forman and Paxson. Paxson confirmed the Bulls would like to re-sign Joakim Noah, Johnson also notes.

See more from Chicago amid news from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Celtics refused to give up Jae Crowder in trade talks with the Bulls before the deadline, scuttling any realistic possibility of a trade, league sources tell Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago. Jimmy Butler‘s name reportedly was the center of those discussions, though Goodwill hears they spoke with teams about Derrick Rose and confirms earlier reports that they had Pau Gasol trade talks, too.
  • The Bulls were on board with a trade that would have involved Pau Gasol, Tony Snell and Kirk Hinrich going out and Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore coming in from the Kings, but Sacramento withdrew from those talks when the Sixers, who were to be included as a third team, insisted the Kings relinquish a second-round pick, Goodwill hears. Sacramento was also reluctant to give into the Bulls’ desire to reduce the top-10 protection on the 2016 first-rounder the Kings owe them, according to Goodwill.
  • The Cavaliers made it a priority to sign a perimeter defender like Dahntay Jones as insurance for Iman Shumpert instead of a point guard to offset the injury to Mo Williams because they envision LeBron James running the point in a pinch, accoriding to Dave McMenamin of The Cavs inked Jones earlier today as Williams reportedly headed to New York for further examination on his sore left knee.
  • Coach Brett Brown said the replacement of GM Sam Hinkie with new president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo won’t result in a change to the team’s playing style, and he called for the front office to focus on strong defenders and veteran big men as they seek offseason upgrades, observes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Brown also spoke highly of Elton Brand, Pompey notes. Brand is heading back into free agency and isn’t sure he’ll keep playing.

Sixers Notes: Turner, Hinkie, Embiid, Colangelo

Ex-Sixer Evan Turner is defending former Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie, who resigned Wednesday, writes Jay King of MassLive. Turner, now with the Celtics, spent nearly four years in Philadelphia before being traded to Indiana in 2014. He didn’t read Hinkie’s 13-page resignation letter but says he understood what the former executive was trying to accomplish. “One thing I didn’t know was [how well they’re set up for the draft],” Turner said. “That’s somewhat ingenious. That could set them up great for the future. It’s just in the NBA, I don’t know what he had with [76ers owner] Josh Harris, but typically jobs, unless you’re a legend, jobs don’t last seven or eight years for a plan. I think if it does work out then he did set them up great, you know?” Philadelphia, which has clinched the top spot in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings, will have its own first-round pick in June, along with the Heat’s, the Thunder’s and the Lakers’ if it falls out of the top three.

There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:

  • Turner still believes great things are ahead for Sixers center Joel Embiid, King writes in the same piece. Philadelphia took Embiid third overall in the 2014 draft, but a string of injuries has prevented him from playing. Calling him possibly the “next [Hakeem] Olajuwon,” Turner recalls watching Embiid in an early workout. “The kid went in-between-the-legs dunk at 7-feet,” Turner said. “Bigs are hard to find. That coordination, and I’ve seen him hit 15 straight threes from the top [of the arc]. Hopefully it works out for him because I’ve got so much respect for [76ers head coach] Brett [Brown], I’ve got so much respect for the staff that works there, and when Philly gets going like in the [Allen] Iverson days it can be a special city.”
  • The risks that Hinkie took were worthwhile, argues Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine. While acknowledging the potential downside of Hinkie’s moves, Bodner contends Embiid could be the Sixers’ best center since Moses Malone and Nerlens Noel is the team’s best interior defender since Dikembe Mutombo. In addition, Philadelphia has a 50-50 shot at landing a top two draft pick and selecting Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram.
  • Despite charges of nepotism, likely new GM Bryan Colangelo has a solid record, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pompey notes that Colangelo is a two-time Executive of the Year who has a history of making aggressive moves.

Atlantic Notes: Noel, Anthony, Canaan

Nerlens Noel will be eligible to ink a rookie scale extension this summer and judging by comments made by Bryan Colangelo, who will reportedly be named as the Sixers new GM, the odds are good that Philadelphia will likely be amenable doing a deal with the big man before the October 31st deadline, Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine notes (Twitter link). When discussing the extension he had signed DeMar DeRozan to when he was GM of the Raptors, Colangelo said, “I had learned from a previous experience that not signing a key player to an eligible extension can come back to bite you, as family, friends and agents feel it’s a sign of disrespect or a lack of belief toward the player. The rules of restricted free agency still give you the upper hand, but the damage can sometimes be too deep to overcome in a healthy way.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Sixers point guard Isaiah Canaan will miss the remainder of the season with a torn left labrum, Jessica Camerato of relays. Canaan was just two starts and 34 minutes away from triggering the starter criteria, but as a result of his injury, the qualifying offer needed to make him a restricted free agent this offseason will remain at $1,215,696 instead of the $2,725,003 he would have been in line for had he met the criteria, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors broke down earlier.
  • Former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie never thought that the franchise needed to defend its rebuilding plan to outsiders, believing that doing so would show other organizations the light, which would in turn invite mimicry, Tom Ziller of SB Nation writes.
  • Carmelo Anthony is adamant about being part of the Knicks‘ free agent recruiting efforts this summer after being excluded from the process by team president Phil Jackson last offseason, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Post scribe also notes that if New York strikes out in free agency this summer, all bets are off regarding Anthony’s willingness to remain with the team through another season of rebuilding.
  • The Celtics have recalled power forward Jordan Mickey and swingman James Young from their D-League affiliate, the team announced. There will be no more treks to Maine on the season for the pair since the Red Claws have been eliminated from the D-League playoffs, Chris Forsberg of notes (via Twitter).

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, Rambis, Lopez

Carmelo Anthony desires a say in the Knicks‘ future personnel decisions, including the selection of the next head coach, Ian Begley of writes. “I think you have to. I think you have to have some type of input, whether it’s input or dialogue, whatever word that you want to use,” Anthony said. “I think you have to have that. I think at this point it needs to be some type of connection, some type of communication. Especially if we want to right this ship, there definitely needs to be some type of communication.” The small forward added that he hasn’t had any discussions with team president Phil Jackson or other members of the front office about who should coach the team next season, Begley notes.

Anthony expressed his appreciation for the job interim coach Kurt Rambis has done but offered no endorsement that Rambis remain in the post beyond this season, Begley adds. “I like Kurt,” Anthony said. “I thought he was kind of thrown into a tough situation with the firing of [Derek Fisher] and kind of gathering the troops, getting guys to play and finish the season up. As far as what’s going to happen this summer, this offseason and next year, who’s going to be in that spot, I have no idea. I haven’t had any conversations with anybody about that. I’m pretty sure they’ll address that when the offseason comes. I would love to have some type of input when it comes to that. But like I said, nobody has had a conversation about that yet.

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Rambis, who is reportedly Jackson’s preferred choice to coach the Knicks in 2016/17, said he would relish the opportunity to have the interim tag removed from his title, Begley relays in the same piece. “It would be fantastic,” Rambis said. “I want to be a head coach in this league. This is a great franchise; it’s a terrific city, fan base. It would be a thrill beyond thrills in order to take this situation from where it was when we all first came here and turn it into a situation where it’s extremely promising and we have a chance to get in the playoffs and do well in the playoffs and get this city and this organization a potential championship. That’s a goal, and that would be a tremendous thrill.
  • Former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie was undone by bad luck in the NBA draft lottery, as the team failed to land the No. 1 overall pick during his tenure, which in turn led to some questionable selections, Rob Mahoney of writes. The former GM should get credit for sticking to his plan, one that ownership fully endorsed upon his hiring, Mahoney adds.
  • Nets center Brook Lopez believes he and GM Sean Marks are on the same page, and Marks informed Lopez that he sees him as a building block and not as a trade chip, Brian Lewis of The New York Post writes. “He has talked to me, and we both definitely want to be here and see things happen here and help the team grow going forward,’’ Lopez said.
  • The Celtics have assigned swingman James Young and power forward Jordan Mickey to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Young’s 13th trip to Maine and Mickey’s 14th.

Latest Fallout From Sam Hinkie Resignation

Sam Hinkie had been considering his future with the Sixers organization over the past few weeks and decided that he wasn’t comfortable with the team’s plan for his future, which in turn led to him resigning on Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical relays. The now former GM emailed his letter of resignation to the team’s ownership group as well as executive Jerry Colangelo, with the intention of releasing a joint announcement today, Wojnarowski writes. But the letter was leaked to the media within two hours, which eliminated Hinkie’s opportunity to inform his staff directly of his intent. It isn’t known who leaked the 13 page manifesto, but according to Wojnarowski’s sources, Hinkie suspects that it was Colangelo who made his resignation public. Hinkie was reportedly mortified that his letter was leaked, as he never intended it for public dissemination, Wojnarowski adds.

Here’s more regarding Hinkie and the Sixers:

  • Colangelo wanted to turn Hinkie into a glorified director of analytics, or run him out of the organization completely, a plan that wasn’t well-received by the entire ownership group, many of whom remain loyal to Hinkie, Wojnarowski notes in the same piece. Some of the owners believe that Hinkie’s rebuilding plan would begin to bear fruit this offseason and wanted to give him more time to see it through, the Vertical scribe relays.
  • The Sixers had suggested to Hinkie prior to the 2015/16 season that he hire someone who would handle the media and build relationships around the league with agents, players and GMs, a request that Hinkie wasn’t responsive or amenable to, John Gonzalez of writes.
  • In his resignation letter, Hinkie insinuated that many within the organization cared more about making a profit than building a winning franchise, chiefly CEO Scott O’Neil, Gonzalez suggests in the same piece. “With Scott O’Neil running our business operations, you are in good hands,” Hinkie said in his letter. “I can assure you that when your team is eventually able to compete deep into May, Scott will ably and efficiently separate the good people of the Delaware Valley from their wallets on your behalf. Worry not.
  • Sixers coach Brett Brown was disappointed that Hinkie stepped down but noted that the plan to bring in more front office personnel had been in place for some time, Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly relays in a series of tweets. The coach also added that the team’s rebuilding plan is still intact, Camerato notes. “We committed to the path that we said we were going to be on three years ago. We’re committed to that,” said Brown.
  • Brown said that Hinkie hadn’t committed to the front office’s new collaborative process and believed a departure by the executive was a distinct possibility, though he didn’t expect things to come to a head so rapidly, tweets Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine.

Fallout From Sixers Front Office Change

The resignation of Sixers GM Sam Hinkie on Wednesday night brought an end to one of the most controversial front office tenures the NBA has ever seen. Philadelphia went 47-195 in Hinkie’s time, its winning percentage decreasing in each of his three seasons. Now, it appears the task of rebuilding the Sixers will fall to Bryan Colangelo, whom the team is reportedly poised to hire as its new GM, and his father, Jerry Colangelo, the team’s chairman of basketball operations. See the fallout from Philly:

  • Hinkie’s resignation shocked Sixers higher-ups, a league source told Pompey. Hinkie was with the team and other members of the organization for three hours, posed for the team picture and met with managing owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer for 90 minutes before dropping his bombshell of a resignation letter, Pompey relays. Members of the Sixers brass were keen on Hinkie’s knowledge of analytics and ability to manage the salary cap but found him lacking in other skills necessary for the GM job, so they met with him at times over the past three or four months about reducing his role and mitigating his shortcomings, according to Pompey. Those conversations heated up over the past two weeks, Pompey adds.

8:58am updates:

  • Coach Brett Brown was a Hinkie hire, but his job is safe, a league source told Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). The Sixers extended Brown’s contract through the 2018/19 season shortly after Jerry Colangelo’s hiring in December.
  • The Sixers were planning to announce after the season that Hinkie would be in charge of analytics and that they were bringing someone else into the front office, a league source told Tom Moore of Calkins Media (Twitter link). Sources told Pompey that the team asked Hinkie to take a lesser role to accommodate the hiring of Bryan Colangelo. Ownership thought Hinkie would accept this sort of arrangement, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
  • Tension built between Hinkie and ownership in the months after the team hired Jerry Colangelo, league sources told John Gonzalez of The owners wanted the Colangelos to take the lead role in dealing with players and agents in free agency, but Hinkie thought he “had it covered,” Gonzalez hears.
  • Hinkie stepped down without notifying his employees, who learned of his resignation via social media, several sources told Pompey for the same piece. Staff who worked under Hinkie were often frustrated about his lack of communication, Wojnarowski tweets. Hinkie was reluctant to trust anyone outside a small circle of confidants and employees he hired, team sources told David Aldridge of

Highlights From Sam Hinkie’s Resignation Letter

The 13-page resignation letter than GM Sam Hinkie sent to Sixers owners, which Marc Stein of ESPN obtained, lays bare the philosophy of an executive whose tenure was marked by public silence as much as it was by lost games. It was nonetheless a common example of the sort of communication he privately had with the owners, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). In his latest dispatch, Hinkie cites everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Warren Buffett to Bill Belichick, among less notorious figures, as Tom Haberstroh of notes (Twitter link). The ex-GM defends the moves he made, along with the general ideas of taking the long view and going against the grain.

“To develop truly contrarian views will require a never-ending thirst for better, more diverse inputs,” Hinkie writes. “What player do you think is most undervalued? Get him for your team. What basketball axiom is most likely to be untrue? Take it on and do the opposite. What is the biggest, least valuable time sink for the organization? Stop doing it. Otherwise, it’s a big game of pitty pat, and you’re stuck just hoping for good things to happen, rather than developing a strategy for how to make them happen.”

We’ll hit the highlights of the more than 7,000-word opus here:

  • Robert Covington is with the Sixers now, but he was originally with the Rockets, a sore point for Hinkie, who says he wanted him immediately after he went undrafted in 2013 but instead returned from his postdraft press conference to discover Covington was off the market. Hinkie writes that he stewed over that for more than a year until signing him in November 2014, a few weeks after Houston waived him.
  • Hinkie claims that the Sixers set an all-time NBA record in acquiring the rights or swap rights to more than 26 draft picks in his first 26 months as GM.
  • Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge received Hinkie’s Executive of the Year vote in 2014 after the Celtics acquired a first-round pick and a second-round pick along with Joel Anthony in a January trade that year. Hinkie had worked to acquire the same package, he writes.
  • Hinkie points to a recent quote from Peter Holt, the former primary owner of the Spurs, who said the free agent signing of LaMarcus Aldridge was years in the making. Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News originally had the story. “Give R.C. Buford credit,” Holt said. “[Gregg Popovich] is a great coach, but R.C. came to us with this plan three years ago, four years ago — seriously. And we’ve worked at it ever since. He, by far, was the general. We wouldn’t be where we are, in this position, if it hadn’t have been for R.C. Buford.”

Sam Hinkie Steps Down As Sixers GM

8:01pm: The Sixers have confirmed Hinkie’s resignation via press release. “This evening, Sam Hinkie notified the organization that he has elected to step down as President of Basketball Operations and General Manager,” the team’s official statement relayed. “While we are disappointed in Sam’s decision, we would like to sincerely thank him for his contributions over the past three seasons. There is no question that Sam’s work has put us in a very strong position to take advantage of numerous opportunities for an exciting future.

7:47pm: In a full-length piece, Stein posted an excerpt from Hinkie’s resignation letter to team ownership. “There has been much criticism of our approach. There will be more. A competitive league like the NBA necessitates a zig while our competitors comfortably zag,” Hinkie wrote. “We often chose not to defend ourselves against much of the criticism, largely in an effort to stay true to the ideal of having the longest view in the room. Given all the changes to our organization, I no longer have the confidence that I can make good decisions on behalf of investors in the Sixers — you. So I should step down. And I have.” Stein’s sources also inform him that Bryan Colangelo’s hiring in Philadelphia is imminent.

7:40pm: Sixers team officials said that they are unaware of any resignation involving Hinkie, Wojnarowski relays (via Twitter).

7:37pm: In addition to Bryan Colangelo, Danny Ferry is the other candidate the Sixers were considering to work alongside Hinkie, Wojnarowski tweets.

7:12pm: Sixers GM Sam Hinkie has stepped down from his post with the team, Marc Stein of reports (Twitter link). It’s unclear at this time if this resignation was 100% voluntary and if Hinkie intends to remain with the organization in a different capacity going forward. Philadelphia is targeting Bryan Colangelo as a potential replacement for Hinkie, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical relays (Twitter links). Team ownership had stated the intention to add another top basketball executive who would hold a similar title to Hinkie’s, which did not sit well with the GM, the Vertical scribe adds.

Hinkie had said back in March that he wasn’t worried about his job security, even though the Sixers were reportedly considering a move that would further reduce his role.  He’d lost much of his autonomy and influence in the wake of Jerry Colangelo being hired as chairman of basketball operations, so Hinkie’s departure doesn’t come as an absolute shock, though the timing certainly is odd given that the season has less than two weeks remaining.

Hinkie became the Sixers’ GM in May of 2013 after a stint as the Rockets executive vice president. The executive’s rebuilding through bottoming-out plan has been met with much scrutiny and derision around the league and Philadelphia had an overall record of 47-195 during Hinkie’s reign.

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