11:57pm: According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is indeed interesting in hiring Hinkie, despite claims to the contrary. Per Wojnarowski, Ranadive seeks “a front-office executive to usurp Vlade Divac’s authority and turn the franchise’s general manager into a “figurehead.”
While the Kings have discussed retaining Divac in a player-personnel role, the “overall management of basketball operations,” would be transferred to someone else. The DeMarcus Cousins trade raised “significant questions inside and outside the organization,” Wojnarowski writes. Despite this, the Kings are hesitant to pair coach Dave Joerger with a GM that didn’t hire him; a situation reminiscent of Pete D’Alessandro‘s ill-fated pairing with Michael Malone.
8:29pm: The Kings have issued a statement dismissing their reported interest in Hinkie, as Sean Cunningham of ABC10 relays (via Twitter): “The Kings are not hiring Sam Hinkie and have no plans to bring anyone in above Vlade.”
While that statement sounds definitive, it’s worth noting that this is the same organization that insisted all year long that DeMarcus Cousins wouldn’t be traded, right up until he was traded.
7:08pm: The Kings have received permission from the Sixers to speak to Sam Hinkie about a front office role, Marc Stein and Zach Lowe of ESPN.com report (Twitter links). Any team looking to speak with Hinkie needs to gain permission since the executive agreed to such terms as part of his non-compete agreement with Philadelphia.
Sacramento has been quietly looking for an executive to put ahead of Vlade Divac in the organization’s hierarchy, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (Twitter link). Wojnarowski tweets that the team’s minority owners have been pressuring Vivek Ranadive to make the front office “more professional.”
Wojnarowski adds that Ranadive has spoken with Hinkie. However, Hinkie may not be interested in the gig. Hinkie has been away from the NBA since parting with the Sixers.