It is apparent to everyone Sam Hinkie is on his way out of town, so what are the Sixers waiting for?
The Process was not working.
That was the only conclusion any sane person could take away from the arrival of new Sixers Chairman of Basketball Operations Jerry Colangelo late in December of last year. Everyone from NBA commissioner Adam Silver to the other owners in the league to the media to most of the fans had realized The Process, the one we have been asked to trust the last three years, was just not doing what it was supposed to.
After almost three seasons of GM Sam Hinkie steering the Sixers ship, what has it gotten us? Let’s review:
- a Rookie of the Year winning point guard in Michael Carter-Williams we then traded away.
- A center in Joel Embiid who after two seasons has yet to touch the hardwood.
- Another center in Nerlens Noel who, while very good defensively, is never going to be a franchise player.
- A power forward in Dario Saric who, like Embiid, has yet to play for the Sixers and there is no guarantee he ever will.
- Yet another center in Jahlil Okafor who just does not fit in with the scheme head coach Brett Brown is running.
- A truckload of second-round picks that has produced… nothing.
I think that about sums it up.
So something needed to be done. And fast. Because even the Hinkie diehards, the ones with “In Hinkie We Trust” t-shirts, were beginning to wonder just what the hell was going on.
But the straw that broke the camel’s back was clearly the string of ugly incidents involving Okafor that seemed to get more out of control by the day. Instead of stepping up and taking control of the situation, Hinkie just hid in his office and let Brown deal with the media firestorm.
You cannot do that as the GM of a professional basketball team. It makes the Sixers, the coach and the city look bad.
So in comes Jerry Colangelo, a pure basketball guy who helped make the Phoenix Suns a perennial contender. Almost immedialty he starts to make changes, bringing back Ish Smith to lead the Sixers on the court and signing Elton Brand to help change the culture in the locker room.
It is obvious that Colangelo is now running the show. Hinkie has some input, but you don’t hire someone of Colangelo’s stature and expect him to just advise. Colangelo is now making all the decisions for this team, plain and simple.
So why is Sam Hinkie still on the payroll?
If I was a betting man, I would guess that the reason Mike D’Antoni was brought in as an associate head coach was so that he could become familiar with the team what Brett Brown is trying to build and then slide into the GM role once Hinkie was let go.
If that is the case, what is Harris waiting for?
If Hinkie had just tanked for a year or two and then really tried to build something during the 2015-16 season, things may have been different. If he had simply addressed the Okafor situation in a timely manner, it might have changed things. Hell, if he just had not traded MCW, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.
But as it currently stands, Hinkie is a GM with no power, no respect from the city and really no use in the Sixers organization.
No one trusts Sam Hinkie anymore.
It’s time to let him go.