This from SI.com:

The Philadelphia 76ers are targeting Houston Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Sam Hinkie in their ongoing search for a new general manager, SI.com has learned.

A leader in the league’s analytics movement who has been the Rockets’ second-in-command behind general manager Daryl Morey for the past five years, Hinkie joins a field of candidates that includes Boston assistant general manager Mike Zarren, former New Orleans general manager Jeff Bower, and former Portland assistant general manager and ESPN analyst Tom Penn.

I know Hinkie well so believe me when I say that this would be a big loss for the Rockets’ front office.  You’re not as good in the draft and at managing your cap as the Rockets have been year in and year out (post-Dawson) without smart people at the top.  Hinkie has overseen those departments as second-in-command to Daryl Morey during the tenure of this regime.

Amick mentions though that while Hinkie seems to be the frontrunner, it is unclear whether he would be unwilling to leave the Rockets.  It’s an interesting question.

With the acquisition of center Andrew Bynum, and last year’s late emergence of guard Evan Turner, the 76ers have vaulted to the top of my list for “most interesting team in the league.”  Along with Jrue Holliday, the Sixers’ is one of the league’s most enviable collections of young talent.  Because of Bynum alone, that situation is more attractive than what is here in Houston, from the standpoint of current personnel.  As we have seen, getting that blue-chip is the hard part.  If hired, Hinkie could then build around the big man using the same methods he has used in Houston helping this front office acquire the cheap young talent it has enjoyed in recent years.  With the Rockets, its still unclear when that big fish will be reeled in.

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The bold projection

A couple days ago, Daryl Morey used his Twitter account to fill in the general public about a few jobs that were opening up within the Rockets organization. He ended the string of notifications with an interesting tweet that I’m sure stirred the soul of every Rockets fan who read it.

Depending on who you ask, reactions to this tweet will range from delusional to comforting. Fans will absorb it as either a legitimate gut feeling by Morey, a facetious overreaction (not likely), or, given the fact that All-Star game starters are decided by an unscientific fan voting process, a wise prediction on what the future likely holds for Houston’s new point guard, Jeremy Lin.

(I believe there’s a good—albeit unlawful—chance Lin is voted in as a starter ahead of Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook, Ty Lawson, or even Steph Curry, if you’d like to throw his questionable ankles into this discussion. As was once said by the wise Agent K: “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”)

If somehow, someway, Lin does not get voted in as an All-Star starter, do any of the other players on board stand a chance of entering the league’s most elite level by next year? No, of course not. That would be ridiculous. But looking ahead, two, three years down the road, does anybody jump out as having All-Star potential? To me, the majority of youngsters on Houston’s roster (Royce White, Terrence Jones, Jeremy Lamb, Patrick Patterson, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons) have very real ceilings dangling over their heads, but if placed in the right system have the skill sets to act as perfect complimentary cogs in a championship team’s rotation.

The one guy who I think has legitimate All-Star potential is Donatas Motiejunas, but I’m admittedly basing that off a few Summer League games and Chris Webber’s tirade of flattering commentary. Motiejunas is really tall, really tough, and can shoot three-pointers. Not a bad place to start, but to call him an All-Star is obviously jumping the gun.

So after seeing Morey’s tweet, how do you feel? Is there a guy on the roster who could be an All-Star soon, if ever? Or is this just a public ploy to juice up his own commodities for a blockbuster trade right before the February deadline?

Twitter: @ShakyAnkles

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The Dream Team of 3-on-3

So this was interesting, from USA Today:

Could three-on-three basketball be coming to the Olympics?

It will if FIBA, the international governing body, has its way. Secretary-general Patrick Baumann said Saturday that his group planned to propose it to be played as early as the 2016 Rio Games.

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The Kevin Martin Dilemma

Upon the signing of guard Carlos Delfino, many speculated that the move signaled a trade of incumbent starter Kevin Martin.  The thinking went that the team now had three good shooting guards so one was probably on the way out.  With rookie Jeremy Lamb a sure bet to stay, fingers pointed towards Martin.  However, I’m not sure an imminent departure should be taken as a foregone conclusion.

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Making sense of the Carlos Delfino signing

If you’re reading this, you already are aware that yesterday, the Houston Rockets agreed to terms with Carlos Delfino.  With a second year team option, the move holds little financial significance.  The real concern are the other ramifications.

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