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NBA Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers’ GM Sam Hinkie Represents A Changing of the Guard

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers  made a major shakeup in their organization hiring Sam Hinkie away from the Houston Rockets.

This is a man they had targeted last year and weighed giving the job to before ultimately deciding to bring back Tony Dileo for one more season. Hinkie represents a very new philosophy and way at looking at basketball for the Sixers. He believes in the analytical and statistical approach, which he incorporated very effectively with Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey.

Hinkie’s resume and intellectual accomplishments are impressive, he has an MBA from Stanford and just recently spoke at an MIT sports analytics conference. Hinkie is a figurehead in the Advanced Statistics community with his philosophy geared toward bringing in shooters that can spread the floor and make you pay from deep.

This philosophy was seen and paid off in Houston with the drafting of Chandler Parsons in the second round, and with the acquisition of sixth man turned superstar James Harden, who put up career highs in the Houston Rockets’ up tempo system.

Hinkie is looking to bring his wide array of knowledge to a Sixers club that desperately needs to be made over. He will have some decisions to make as Andrew Bynum is a pending free agent with balky knees. The risk/reward is a big one, almost as big as the stature of the man himself, and it will be something Hinkie has to ponder before July 1, when teams can officially start talking to potential free agents. Hinkie and upper management will also have to go about finding a new coach to replace the recently acquitted Doug Collins. Names like Mike Malone, the up and coming assistant of the young gun Golden State Warriors, has been thrown out there, as has Brian Shaw, currently an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers.

The draft is also right around the corner, where the Sixers will potentially have the 11th selection, if they don’t by some stroke of luck win the draft lottery, and owner Joshua Harris would prefer to have a head coach in place before that time.

Hinkie did a terrific job in re-building a Rocket steam, adding the likes of  Harden, Parsons, Omer Asik and, of course, Jeremy Lin. The Sixers desperately need a similar talent infusion after trying and failing big in landing a superstar of their own in Bynum. If Hinkie makes the right moves, the Sixers can be talked about as being a true contender in the East sooner rather than later.

 

Ryan Wenzell is a writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google+