Sam Hinkie was a very polarizing figure during his time as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. Some people lauded his extreme approach to team restructuring, while others railed against it. Before Hinkie was with the Sixers though, he was a member of Houston's front office under general manager Daryl Morey. Thus, when Morey was recently hired to be Philadelphia's new president of basketball operations, it led to some speculation that he could look to bring his former protégée back to the Sixers.
Hinkie quickly closed the door on that possibility though. During an appearance on the ESPN Daily podcast with Pablo Torre, Hinkie said that there's no chance that he will be taking a job on Morey's Sixers staff.
"Oh, zero," Hinkie said when asked about a potential return to the NBA, via Real GM. "Zero. I've turned that chapter for sure. That part of my life. I very much like what I'm doing now. I like surrounding myself with people who think in sort of the timeframes I do, which is often longer. That are quite comfortable with long feedback loops. That want to do the kinds of things I do, which is bet on young people and watch them flourish."
So what has Hinkie been up to since he parted ways with the Sixers in 2016?
"Nominally, I stated a company. Practically, it's a venture capital firm that allows me to be an investor in early stage companies," Hinkie said. "It allows me to sort of ride the rollercoaster with young, ambitious principled people trying to make a dent in the universe. One way or the other. Sort of commercial universe. They have some dream they want to see come to fruition and a path to get there. What they need is capital, encouragement and advice. And a bunch of amazing colleagues around them to really help them get there. That's what I do."
Just because Hinkie isn't interested in returning to the NBA, doesn't mean he isn't still invested in the league, and in the Sixers specifically. When it comes to his former franchise, he thinks that the Morey hire was an excellent one, and he also thinks that Philly trading either one of their young All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben SImmons -- as some have suggested -- wouldn't be a wise move.
"Don't people remember what it took to get them? For all of them. Getting a star player in the NBA is not impossibly hard, but close," Hinkie said. "It requires either an incredible amount of luck, or an amazing amount of time, or some other way to try and get at it. So what is Jo? 26? To have a young player who is nominally, in a traditional sense, just entering his prime, and say 'oh we've got to blank.' No, job one is you've got to get great players on your team, and he is one.
"And so, I'm not alone on this, you'd be loathe to think we have to do anything and we have to do anything that requires you to potentially move a great player. They don't move very much for a reason, because people rightly don't let them go very often for a reason."
Morey and Hinkie have often been aligned when it comes to their approach to team-building in the past. it will be interesting to see if they are aligned on this issue also.