TheKings have received permission from the 76ers to speak with former general manager and president of basketball operations Sam Hinkie, ESPN's Marc Steinreported Monday. Permission is required because of a non-compete clause for the 2016-17 season that took effect after Hinkie left the Sixers last April.
There has been pressure from the NBA and the team's minority owners on Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadiveto put together a more "professional" front office, according to the Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. It is not yet clear how interested Hinkie is in taking a job in Sacramento.
Later Monday, the organization denied the reports, stating"The Kings are not hiring Sam Hinkie and have no plans to bring anyone in above Vlade."
It's no secret the Kings are in disaster mode after a number of terrible trades over the past few years, capped by the trade of their best talent in years, DeMarcus Cousins, for pennies on the dollar. The team has few talented prospects and has already dealt its 2019 first-round draft pick, incidentally to the Sixers, in what was one of most lopsided trades of the decade.
It's unclear what role the Kings want Hinkie to playin their rebuild, but according to Wojnarowski,Ranadive has been looking to place someone over current general manager Vlade Divac.
Hinkie's "Process" to make the 76ers a contender was controversial at best, but it left the team with loads of promising, though injured, talent, including maybe this season's best rookies, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, as well as Ben Simmons. The Kings have had no such vision; thus the Dumpster fire of a roster that Ranadive thinks can be led by 23-year-old rookie Buddy Hield, the main piece Sacramento received for Cousins. If there's anyone who can turn the little talent that's left in Sacramento into something more, it's Hinkie, who was notorious for trading prospects at their peak for an inflated market value.
For Hinkie, this would be a shocking endpoint; the league has warmed up to his philosophies, and surely any other job would be more appealing. The Sixers are still goingthrough "The Process" years later; the Kings, meanwhile, appear to be in the midst of a decadelongordeal. Without much to trade, and with the rest of league distrustful of the current front office after the Cousins trade, free agents will be hesitant to sign with them. The solutions for this franchisearen't evident.
Signing Hinkie would be a steal for Sacramento. Having someone like him at the helm of this sinking ship would be the only reason to keep the search parties out. But it would be a massive ask to have one person reverse years of wrongs, including some for which Hinkie was the catalyst.
It's a pipe dream for the Kings, but at the very least they're recognizing a need for change.