Sam Hinkie

Sixers new GM not done shaking up roster, will be active with trades


When the Sixers moved Jrue Holiday on draft night, the plan of new GM Sam Hinkie became clear — they were going to get worse to get better. Philly is not going to be good this year, but they will have two first round draft picks (theirs and New Orleans, so long as that isn’t top 5) in the deepest draft in a decade and start their rebuilding with that player and Nerlens Noel.

With that as the plan, you had to know the roster shakeups were not done.

Hinkie will be actively looking at more trades throughout the season and into next season, he told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“We will be an attractive trading partner for teams around the league all year – not just for players, but for the cap room that we have,” Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie said…

“That kind of flexibility will give us real options,” Hinkie added.

The Sixers are currently $16.6 million under the cap (they will actually need to add salary before the start of the season to reach the league’s salary floor). That gives them room to take on contracts teams want to dump, but the price will be picks or young prospects.

What does all this mean? Well, if I were Spencer Hawes or Thaddeus Young or Evan Turner I would keep a travel bag packed and near the door. You never know when you are going to be on the move.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.