When a new general manager gets hired to take on a rebuilding project like that of the Philadelphia 76ers, many personnel decisions need to be made. The first choice Sam Hinkie will have to make is who he would like to be his first head coach. While names have floated around from Mike Malone, to Brian Shaw and Michael Curry, a new name has emerged as someone who has direct ties to Hinkie.
The Sixers have received permission to interview Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson for their head coaching vacancy. Sampson started his career in the college coaching ranks, getting his first head-coaching job at Montana Tech. He then moved on to Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana. He has spent the last five seasons in the NBA as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Rockets.
Sampson left the college game after many rumors of illegal recruiting and has now settled in nicely in the pros. Hinkie already has a pretty good idea of the type of coach Sampson is and if he sees it as a fit for this roster, he should make the move to bring his guy in.
The Rockets were second in the league in points per game this year with 106.0 per game with Sampson on the bench as an assistant. Who, as a Sixers fan, wouldn’t love to see Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young running the fast break more often and putting up more points? The Rockets were also third in the league in free throws made per game with 19.2, another aspect of the game the 76ers struggled mightily at. Maybe Sampson would be able to teach some of the aggressiveness James Harden had to our very own Evan Turner.
If Hinkie can use his analytics brain to bring in the right players like he did by helping bring in Harden, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik, it seems like Sampson would be the ideal fit to coach those types of players.