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.