A year removed from his departure from the Philadelphia 76’rs, Sam Hinkie may be making a return to the Association. On Monday, it was reported that the League had given permission to the Sacramento Kings to begin discussions about the former GM.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)
Part of Hinkie’s departure from the Sixers included an agreement that he would refrain from working in the NBA. Therefore Hinkie has been absent from the NBA spotlight for the past year. Zach Lowe and Marc Stein of ‘ESPN‘ reported that the Kings owner had gotten permission directly from the Sixers to speak with Hinkie.
Story posting now: League sources tell @ZachLowe_NBA and me that the Kings have received permission to speak to former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie. — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) March 27, 2017
League sources say Kings have interest in bringing Hinkie into their front office. Neither exact role nor Hinkie's interest level yet known — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) March 27, 2017
Now, famous for his tanking strategy dubbed “the Process”, Hinkie brings more than just losing. What is often overshadowed is Hinkie’s ability to get the best value in his transactions. In his team in Philly, he shows an ability to evaluate talent and is still coming out on top on most of his trades. Even now as it stands, the Sixers will have the right to swap picks with the Kings, if the Kings finish ahead of them in the lottery.
Kings GM Vlade Divac (Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY Sports)
There’s only one tiny issue with the Kings possibly hiring Hinkie, they already have a GM. Yes, Vlade Divac is the Kings current GM and would undoubtedly be less than cool with his owner talking to Hinkie. Consequently, it gets complicated when theorizing what role he would have with the team. Adrian Wojnarowski of ‘Yahoo’ reported that the Hinkie would be filling a position above Divac.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive has been quietly searching for an executive to place over Vlade Divac, league sources tell @TheVertical. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) March 27, 2017
If this is true, Divac and Hinkie may need one another, being that Hinkie may not have the best working relationship with other GM’s. As a result, he alone may not be the best figurehead of an organization. Divac’s shortcomings have been well documented. Although, with Hinkie behind him, they could take the Kings on the Up&Up.
Kings have won back to back games against playoff teams.
With ‘Boogie’ Cousins now in New Orleans, they now have a chance to start fresh with their young roster. While many are split on their opinion of Hinkie as a GM, there’s one thing that cannot be questioned; his ability to obtain assets are still paying dividends for the Sixers as they continue to get better.
That @TheWillieCS15 effort ? pic.twitter.com/1oGKKQT8r2 — Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 28, 2017
Thus, over the past month without Cousins, the youth movement has had its way. Acquiring Buddy Heild in the trade for Cousins has worked out for the team. His shooting and his defense have gotten remarkably better in his 17 games with the Kings. Meanwhile, in the absence of Cousins big men, Willie Cauley-Stein and rookie Skal Labissière have shown potential. In addition, the Kings may have a foundation for the future.
Buddy ❤️ back at it pic.twitter.com/PK1Vg6W77P — Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) March 28, 2017
Conversely, the Kings have been awful on defense since the all-star break. This is something that starts with the guard position and ends with who’s in the paint. If Sacramento can pick in the top 10, they’ll have the opportunity of adding a future all-star in a deep draft.
As ESPN reports, Sam Hinkie is a target. Ranadive has casually talked with Hinkie, sources say, but Hinkie unsure his interest in job there. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) March 28, 2017