Sam Hinkie Rumors
However, league sources, including agents, claim Hinkie is hard to deal with. They said he doesn’t make it a priority to return calls in a timely fashion or, on occasion, at all. “If [former power agent] Arn Tellem is making multiple phone calls, or if it’s a Bill Duffy or if it’s a Mark Bartelstein or a Jeff Schwartz, you’d better take that call, and you’d better show them respect,” one source said. “If not, that will come back to haunt you double-fold, triple-fold in a later period. . . . They have egos the size of NBA superstars, and they are very powerful.”
The Sixers say the perception they are failing is inaccurate. They’re excited about using sports science in their training, a yet-to-open state-of-the-art practice facility, and a chance at four first-round picks in the 2016 NBA draft. But several league executives told The Inquirer the rebuilding is “flawed” and “a failure” that’s bad for basketball.
“How many lottery picks have they had? What do they have to show for it?” asked one executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Noel is a good player, not a franchise player. I don’t think Okafor is going to be a franchise player. He will be OK.”
Many have thrown their hands up in disgust of The Process, which has accumulated 37 wins in 164 games over the past two seasons. Season ticketholders are growing weary of shoveling out big bucks to watch an organization fill a roster with subpar players who, despite playing hard night in and night out, simply don’t have the ammunition to put up a fair fight. Some are annoyed with the lack of transparency by Hinkie and the organization, which only divulged information of Embiid having a setback in early June after it was reported. Then, in early July only after multiple reports came out, did the team confirm Embiid would need another surgery.
Hinkie is considered one of the smarter general managers in the league, and multiple league sources told The Cauldron that Hinkie still has Sixers majority owner Josh Harris in his corner. Harris, per a source, has no issue (yet) with Hinkie’s approach, largely because the franchise is worth two to three times what Harris and his group paid for it in 2011, but sources suggest that other pieces of the ownership team are getting less patient. There are also increasing indications of internal friction below the ownership level over Hinkie-led decisions.
According to multiple league sources, last season’s decision to trade point guard Michael Carter-Williams?—?Hinkie’s first draft pick with the franchise in 2013, and a second-year player coming off winning the league’s Rookie of the Year award?—?was Hinkie’s alone, and the move angered both head coach Brett Brown and team president Scott O’Neil, who were caught unaware. Although Brown previously had some dustups with Carter-Williams, he had no desire to take a competitive step backward and give up one of the team’s better players for a (potentially valuable) future first-round pick. O’Neil was miffed because he was planning to market the team around Carter-Williams and 2014 lottery pick Nerlens Noel.