Welcome back to “Who’s This Guy?” a look at the 2013-14 Sixers Roster. Yesterday we met Darius Morris. Today in our final installment (for now), we look at General Manager Sam Hinkie.
Name: Sam Hinkie
Position: General Manager/President of Basketball Operations
Age: 35 (really?)
College: Oklahoma (undergrad), Stanford (grad school)
Prior Front Office Experience: Vice President Houston Rockets (2008-2010), Executive Vice President Houston Rockets (2010-2013)
Pros: Hinkie is a strong proponent of analytics. He has been credited with turning the Rockets’ entire player evaluation system, from the front office to the coaching staff into a model of statistical thinking. He is a master of discovering and acquiring under-valued talent and using it to his team’s advantage. He isn’t afraid to make tough decisions and is able to maintain a separation between success and sentimentality. Finally, he is committed to building a winner. He knows it will take a long time, but based on what he’s expressed to the fans so far, he isn’t just content to build a playoff team.
Cons: He hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the fans so far with his behind closed doors operating procedure. He has been criticized for his handling of the team’s coaching situation as well. He has come off as cold and calculating to some. There are also, of course, those like Larry Brown and Doug Collins who think that analytics are a crock of shit and that the only way to know basketball is to know basketball (whatever the fuck that means).
Hinkie made a splash when he implemented a radical plan to completely turn the team over on draft night. Trading Jrue Holiday to the Pelicans could net the Sixers two top ten draft picks in 2014. The only way to get better in the NBA is to shed big contracts and invest in the future. The Celtics and Heat did it and were able to build themselves a four to five year championship window. If things fall the Sixers’ way, they could be building a team with a bigger window and a period of sustained success that this town hasn’t seen in years. Hinkie has been praised as a revolutionary mind by some. This could be the perfect job for him to show that he has the knowledge and creativity it takes to create a winner.