Jerry Colangelo Rumors
The Sixers may be looking to add experience and voices, Colangelo admitted, while not saying specifically what that would mean for analytics-driven GM Sam Hinkie’s role. “I think that any time you have an opportunity to enhance your organization, and you bring people in to accomplish that, you consider it. Big time. You really do,” Colangelo said. “And I think in our case we have a very bright young guy in Sam Hinkie, who holds the title of president and GM, and in his space he’s really strong. One could build a case for saying you’d like to have more people added who have experience in other aspects of those jobs. That’s the kind of conversation that’s going on.
“The first step was me being asked to come in, because of my experience, to maybe help and add to the mix. And the question you’re asking is, ‘is there a need or requirement for someone else?’ Maybe. Probably. That’s all being discussed… I’m just saying adding people to the front office. And that’s not demeaning who we have. You want to be strong. If your goal is you want to be in the Finals… you have to take all the steps required to become that. I’d like to hear people say ‘they’ve got the strongest front office in the league.’ That’s a goal. That’s an objective. So it’s going to require more people to make that happen. That’s all.”
And from his friendship with Mike Krzyzewski, Okafor’s college coach at Duke, to his coaxing the NBA’s superstars into revitalizing the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball program, Colangelo hoped he could reach Okafor before the kid put his career in more peril. “What I’ve tried to do is encourage him and talk about what this is all about,” Colangelo said in a phone interview Thursday, adding that he has met with Okafor three or four more times since Dec. 26. “There’s a lot at stake as it relates to a career and a future. In other words, encouragement is basically the bottom line and saying, ‘Look, everyone makes mistakes, and you have to learn from those mistakes on the floor and off. Just tune in.’ ”
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It remains to be seen how Smith’s production impacts the Sixers’ moves on draft night, at the trade deadline and in free agency now that there isn’t a glaring hole at the one spot. “I think he has shown he has the capacity to do a lot more than maybe where he was picked because he’s bounced around quite a bit,” Colangelo said. “It’s a great story that finally maybe he’s landed somewhere where he could do a lot more than fit that description or that role. I think you always have to keep your options open on everything. “But I would say this: A month ago, we really had a big need. That need is a lot less today because of what he’s shown he’s capable of doing.”