After another disappointing playoff exit in Orlando, the Philadelphia 76ers were due for a massive shake-up. Parting ways with Brett Brown was practically a foregone conclusion, and the organization wasted little time before hiring Doc Rivers, who was newly available after his own departure from Los Angeles.
Their next big splash was in the front office, when news emerged earlier this week that they were finalizing a deal to bring in former Rockets GM Daryl Morey as executive vice president of basketball operations to work alongside current GM Elton Brand. The details of the hiring have yet to be finalized or made public.
Sixers fans, by and large, have a lot to be optimistic about with Rivers and Morey in major leadership positions, and it now appears Morey has been given the seal of approval by the man who is arguably responsible for getting the Sixers back into contention in the first place.
In an appearance on ESPN Daily, former Sixers GM and architect of The Process Sam Hinkie told Pablo Torre that he is “stoked” that his former colleague is joining the front office in Philadelphia. (Transcript via B/R)
“I was stoked,” Hinkie said. “I’m stoked now. I think it’s great news. He’s not a good hire. He’s a great hire. It’s a really big move for the franchise. For a franchise I care a lot about. With a bunch of people I care a lot about. I just think it portends really great things for the future, for the Sixers. Which remains meaningful to me. So I’m stoked.”
“I do talk everyday, I just don’t talk to you and your colleagues at ESPN on television every day,” said Hinkie to Torre. “It’s not everyday you get to gas up one of your friends that just had something awesome happen in their life that happens to coalesce with a bunch of my life.”
Hinkie resigned from the Sixers’ job in 2016 after ongoing controversy over his tactics, which included several losing seasons with the goal of obtaining high draft picks and other assets that eventually turned into the star duo they enjoy now in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
The efficacy of his approach is still up for debate, but with Morey now in the fold, the Sixers now have an executive who in many ways shared a kindred spirit with Hinkie’s data-driven approach to front office management. It’ll be fascinating to see how Morey’s philosophy jibes with what they’re trying to accomplish and whether he can capitalize on the championship window that is still wide open for this version of the team.