Sam Hinkie shot down any possibility of a return to the NBA.
The former 76ers general manager had to set the record straight after speculation arose shortly after Daryl Morey, whom Hinkie worked under in Houston prior to his three-year stint in Philly, was hired to be Philadelphia’s new president of basketball operations during the week. Many thought a reunion could be a possibility.
However, during an appearance on the “ESPN Daily” podcast Friday, Hinkie assured that there wasn’t any shot he would go back to working in the NBA.
“Oh, zero,” he said. “Zero. I’ve turned that chapter for sure. That part of my life. I very much like what I’m doing now. I like surrounding myself with people who think in sort of the timeframes I do, which is often longer. That are quite comfortable with long feedback loops. That want to do the kinds of things I do, which is bet on young people and watch them flourish.”
Although Hinkie, 42, said he wasn’t interested in returning to the NBA, he still has kept an eye on his former franchise. Hinkie, who stepped down as Sixers GM in April 2016, said he thinks that the Morey hire was an excellent one. He also added he believes that trading one of their young All-Stars – Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been mentioned – wouldn’t be a smart move.
“Don’t people remember what it took to get them? For all of them. Getting a star player in the NBA is not impossibly hard, but close,” Hinkie said. “It requires either an incredible amount of luck, or an amazing amount of time, or some other way to try and get at it. So what is Jo? 26? To have a young player who is nominally, in a traditional sense, just entering his prime, and say ‘oh we’ve got to blank.’ No, job one is you’ve got to get great players on your team, and he is one.
“And so, I’m not alone on this, you’d be loathe to think we have to do anything and we have to do anything that requires you to potentially move a great player. They don’t move very much for a reason, because people rightly don’t let them go very often for a reason.”
Hinkie, who now runs a venture capital firm, was hired as Philly’s GM prior to the 2013-14 season and the team went 47-195 in the three seasons he was there. The Sixers opened up the 2015-16 season with a 1-21 record, including an 18-game losing streak, before the organization hired former Suns GM Jerry Colangelo as chairman of basketball operations. Hinkie resigned soon after.
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