Sam Hinkie

Atlantic Draft Notes: Johnson, Monk, Workouts

The Sixers don’t have a definite long-term answer at point guard, but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily address the position in the first round of this year’s draft, Jonathan Givony writes in a mock draft for The Vertical.

The team is expected to field offers for the No. 3 overall pick and if it decides to keep the selection, it’ll be hard to predict who the selection will be. Givony adds that the team is high on Kentucky guard Malik Monk, but also suggests that Kansas’ Josh Johnson could be the pick due to his upside.

Here’s more on the upcoming draft out of the Atlantic Division:

Southeast Notes: Magic, Green, Millsap, Hornets

If the Magic can’t land one of the candidates they want for team president, they will try to get a big name to fill the GM role, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Interim GM Matt Lloyd remains a candidate to keep his job either way, but would probably be more secure if Orlando can get a high-profile president. The Magic are reportedly interested in Cavaliers GM David Griffin, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie probably won’t be a candidate, as a source told Kyler that Hinkie is looking for an “ideal situation” and isn’t ready to return to the NBA. (Twitter link).

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic won’t try to keep free agent forward Jeff Green, writes Kevin P. Smith of Real GM in his offseason preview. Green spent a year in Orlando after signing with the team last July. He averaged 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 69 games, mostly as a reserve. Smith thinks there’s a better chance that Orlando could try to keep fellow free agent Jodie Meeks if he agrees to an affordable price. In the draft, the Magic may take advantage of a field rich in point guards to find a replacement for Elfrid Payton.
  • Re-signing free agent forward Paul Millsap will be an offseason priority for the Hawks, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The 31-year-old has been with Atlanta for the past four seasons, making the All-Star team in each one. He’s coming off a career-best scoring year at 18.1 points per game, along with 7.7 rebounds and a career-high 3.7 assists. “We are going to make every effort imaginable to keep him,” said Hawks owner Tony Ressler.
  • The Hornets face a tough offseason with no available cap room and probably the 11th pick in the draft, writes Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders. Charlotte’s best option to improve is through trades, with Greene mentioning Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Miles Plumlee as options because they all have deals that average less than $15MM annually. The Hornets also have a $1.7MM exception from the Troy Daniels deal that expires in mid-July.

Kings Interested In Hiring Sam Hinkie?

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.

Sam Hinkie Mulling Return To NBA In 2017

In a wide-ranging and fascinating interview with Sam Hinkie, Chris Ballard of SI.com explores what the former Philadelphia general manager has been up to since departing the Sixers earlier this year, and suggests that a return to the NBA could be in the cards for Hinkie in 2017. According to Ballard, Hinkie seemed “unsure” in October about whether or not he’d seek out another NBA job, but now appears more certain that he’ll eventually return to the league.

“I think the world probably assumes that I’m recharging and unplugging, and there’s a little of that,” Hinkie said. “This will get me in trouble if I say it, but I think I’m mostly sharpening the sword to come back.”

During his time in Philadelphia, Hinkie engaged in an unprecedented all-out rebuilding process, which resulted in just 47 total wins in three seasons for the Sixers. During that time, the team rid itself of bad contracts and added several promising prospects, including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid. Of course, it wasn’t until after Hinkie’s departure that Embiid made his debut and the Sixers finally landed a No. 1 overall pick, snagging Ben Simmons.

As Ballard writes, Hinkie has been informally approached by “a couple” teams since the spring about potential opportunities, but his agreement with the Sixers still features a non-compete clause. The former 76ers GM won’t have an idea of what the market looks like for him until that non-compete expires at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Speaking to about a half-dozen NBA general managers and executives – including Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who worked with Hinkie in Houston – Ballard found that Hinkie is still held in high regard by many people around the league. Morey indicated that he’d hire his old assistant GM back in a similar role “in a second,” but admitted that Hinkie might not be interested in such a position. For his part, Hinkie will likely remain patient and wait for the right opportunity rather than rushing into a new job next summer, as he tells Ballard.

“I care much more about my life than the likelihood of being employed by next season,” Hinkie said. “The things you learn well compound over time. I’m going to do what I can to stay relevant and dangerous in regards to 2017. But I’m super-focused on what life will look like in 2027 and 2037 and how I can plant seeds now that bear fruit by then, if not before.”

Sixers Notes: Hinkie, Noel, Okafor, Embiid

Former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie will take at least a year away from basketball to teach at Stanford, he tweeted today. Hinkie, who resigned from the team in April, sent out a series of tweets discussing his present and future. He called this a “gap year,” but didn’t speculate on whether he hopes to return to the NBA (Twitter link). Hinkie, who spent three years in Philadelphia’s front office, refused to comment further on the tweets when contacted by Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, a Deadspin report suggests the former GM will be a guest speaker for one or more Stanford classes, rather than actually becoming a faculty member.

There’s more Sixers news this evening:

  • Nerlens Noel is the most likely player to be traded to ease the logjam in the Sixers’ frontcourt, writes Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In a series of predictions for the upcoming season, Cooney says it’s a close call between Noel and center Jahlil Okafor, but he suggests that Noel will be sent elsewhere before the trading deadline in February. Cooney also predicts that a minutes restriction on Joel Embiid will last until about Christmas, that rookie Ben Simmons will start right away and lead the team in minutes played, that Dario Saric will need time to adjust to the NBA but will claim a greater role as the season wears on and that Philadelphia will win 27 games, up 10 from a year ago.
  • The Sixers should consider trading both Noel and Okafor, according to Zach Harper of CBSSports.com. Harper suggests Philadelphia could get a nice return for Noel right now and then deal Okafor next spring or summer to a team that gets disappointed in the draft lottery. If Embiid’s health holds up, Harper states that he and Simmons could be the building blocks of a contender. The writer lists the Celtics, Pelicans, Timberwolves and Rockets as possible destinations for Noel, and the Lakers as the best option for Okafor.

Sixers Notes: Hinkie, Simmons, Saric, Brown

The often-ridiculed “Process” is playing out in Philadelphia just the way former GM Sam Hinkie envisioned, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Hinkie, who resigned in April, suffered through three years of losing but left the team with a large collection of draft picks and young players who have a chance to turn around the Sixers’ fortunes quickly. Two pieces of Hinkie’s plan fell into place recently when Dario Saric left his Turkish team to sign with Philadelphia and Joel Embiid, a 2014 draft pick who has yet to play in the NBA because of injuries, was medially cleared to begin five-on-five basketball. “You have to give a lot of credit to Sam Hinkie for the recent developments that have happened,” coach Brett Brown said. “I will also say that [team president] Bryan Colangelo has done two things in my eyes. He’s jumped into this in a very selfless way and giving credit where credit is due in relation to Sam.”

There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:

  • No. 1 pick Ben Simmons says the Sixers are a “perfect” team for him, relays Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. Simmons has known new teammates Embiid and Jahlil Okafor since high school and thinks it will be easy to develop chemistry with them. Both players traveled to Las Vegas to cheer on the Summer League team, which gave the franchise its first look at Simmons in a Sixers uniform. “We are just going to develop him as we have done with everybody else,” said Summer League coach Lloyd Pierce. “We are going to take our time, be very patient with his growth and try not to give him too much. There are a lot of expectations on him already, but we are going to be very diligent with him and give him an opportunity to grow.”
  • Saric was surprised by the greeting he received Thursday when his flight landed in Philadelphia and a group of fans and media members met him at the airport, writes Brian Seltzer of NBA.com. Sixers fans have been waiting two years to get a glimpse of Saric after the team acquired his rights in a 2014 draft day deal with Orlando. Saric exercised his buyout clause with Anadolu Efes in Turkey and signed with Philadelphia on Friday. “I didn’t know that people would say welcome to me that way,” Saric said of his greeting. “I’m happy because the city is happy that I’m here.”
  • Brown sees Simmons and Saric as similar players and says it will be up to the coaching staff to blend their talents together, Pompey notes in a separate story. “They are two really good players,” Brown said. “So how this plays out, how we take shape, I think this a good challenge, and one that we are excited to learn more about.”

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 ESPN.com. 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 CBSSports.com. 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 ESPN.com. 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 ESPN.com. 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.
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