Broncos reportedly meet former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie for analytics consulting

Just two years removed from winning Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos are trying anything and everything to get back to the postseason. After going 5-11 in 2017, the Broncos have reportedly met with former 76ers GM and president of basketball operations Sam Hinkie, per Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.

Hinkie orchestrated "The Process" that got the Sixers Joel Embiid and No. 1 picks Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, not to mention a 2018 playoff berth.

Jhabvala reports that Hinkie met with the Broncos on Thursday at their headquarters. GM John Elway was there, along with some of the Broncos' analytics team and their scouts. They were discussing "how to best use the influx of data they've received over the years to benefit them in player evaluation, in-game situations, salary cap and contract decisions, and training and rehab matters," per The Athletic.

While Hinkie, 40, is most well-known for tanking the 76ers into oblivion from 2013 to 2016, he's not a stranger to the NFL. Hinkie spent time with both the 49ers and Texans as a consulting intern while he was at Stanford. 

Hinkie started his executive career with the NBA after college when he joined the Rockets as a special assistant to then-Rockets GM Carroll Dawson. He hasn't found new work within the NBA since his transparent tank efforts with the 76ers, where he accrued a 47-195 record, although his numbers advice is not to be taken lightly. While Hinkie's fame comes from losing, the only reason that he stripped the 76ers down was to get them talent. Their playoff appearance this year indicates that it worked, particularly coming off of a 10-72 season just two years ago.

According to Broncos director of football analytics Mike Tanney, Hinkie can help the analytics department steer the course. 

"It's a wealth of data, and it's our job to extract insights with coordination with the strength and conditioning staff, athletic training, with the rehab group in there to be able to make sure it makes sense," he told Jhabvala. "Again, it's that pragmatic part. If we just do some one-off research that doesn't make any sense, that doesn't do anybody any good. It needs to be applicable."

In the past, Elway has admitted that he's had some "misses" with the Broncos, adding that "we just have to figure out a way to get it right" in February, per Pro Football Talk. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora wrote last November on the abject failure of the Broncos' last few seasons, largely due to personnel brought in by Elway. Sometimes, a way to get it right is to bring in some outside help. When it comes to outside help, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone with more experience building a team up than Hinkie.

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