The Sixers will cast their net far and wide when it comes to considering candidates for their now-vacant General Manger position. Internal candidates will be considered, as well as already-established candidates currently working for other organizations, as well as those with experience but out of work.

One name that keeps popping up around Philadelphia as a potential replacement for Bryan Colangelo is the man that Colangelo replaced two years ago: Sam Hinkie.

Before Colangelo had even officially resigned due to his wife’s usage of numerous burner accounts on Twitter, people on the app were calling for Hinkie’s reinstatement, and the arguments in his favor certainly make some sense. After all, he laid the foundation for the franchise as currently constructed, so why not let him build the rest of the house? Plus, he is already extremely familiar with the organization, the city, Brett Brown, and all of the players that he added during his time with the team: Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, T.J. McConnell, Robert Covington, and Richaun Holmes.

If this reality were a movie about the Sixers, Hinkie would be brought back, he would guide the team to a title with shrewd move-making, and everything would come full-circle. But, here’s the thing, this isn’t a movie and the Sixers [most likely] aren’t going to bring him back.

First, there’s the optics. Bringing back Hinkie just over two years after he was pushed out of the organization would not be a good look. It wouldn’t be a good look for the Harris-Blitzer ownership group, and it wouldn’t be a good look for the league - or Adam Silver specifically - after Silver was instrumental in the addition Jerry Colangelo into Philadelphia’s front office. Bringing back Hinkie would basically be equivalent to the ownership publicly admitting that they were wrong. It’s hard to imagine that happening.

While Hinkie has proven to be adept at the team-building aspect of the General Manager’s job, he has no track record (because he wasn’t fully afforded the opportunity with the Sixers) when it comes to constructing a contender. At this point, with the stakes as high as they are, the organization might prefer to look to a more seasoned decision-maker.

When asked if they would consider a reunion with Hinkie in the aftermath of the Colangelo fiasco, Sixers co-owner Josh Harris provided a diplomatic, albeit telling, response.

“We have a lot of respect for Sam and we appreciate how he’s positioned our franchise,” Harris said. “We’re going to do our best to find the absolute best GM and moving forward the absolute best leader of this basketball organization.”

In other words, Sam is in the past, and the organization is looking towards the future.

It is undeniable that Hinkie set the Sixers up for [potential] sustained success, but how he would have fared as the team transitioned to true contention will remain a mystery.


Follow Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb.


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