Jerry Colangelo Rumors
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.”
That Hinkie, the team’s general manager, has been more accessible to the media since Colangelo’s arrival is no coincidence. If limiting his remarks to a few press conferences each year was feasible when the Sixers were just a young, overmatched team trying to rebuild, it became impossible after Jahlil Okafor was filmed fighting on a Boston street early Thanksgiving morning. The video’s publication sparked the revelation of other troubling incidents involving Okafor, all of which Hinkie, aside from a brief press release, refused to address publicly.
He would show the 38-year-old novice GM what it really took to build a winning NBA franchise and, failing that, find someone else who already knew. Hinkie, though, spoke of Colangelo less as a mentor than as a colleague and co-worker on equal footing with him, a daring stance for someone who is supposed to be fearing for his future. “He’s already proven to be helpful,” Hinkie said. “I’d be surprised if he can’t be at least as helpful, if not more helpful, over time. I think he’s brought a different perspective that’s been good. I think he’s brought a different level of gravitas and experience. Our discussions have been richer because he’s been here. I don’t see that changing.”
He was asked if he saw Colangelo’s presence as a threat in any way. “In what sense?” In the obvious sense: Colangelo has power. He has his own perspective. And even after all those productive discussions, he might eventually decide that Hinkie should no longer be the Sixers’ general manager. “I’m a big believer in the meritocracy of ideas,” Hinkie said, “and your idea had better stand up to scrutiny from all sides. You’d better know your opponents’ arguments better than they do if you want to truly understand what’s best. So I don’t mind the thought that there might be debate about any particular topic.”