Kurt Helin

Sam Hinkie
Associated Press

So you know, Sam Hinkie came in 10th in Executive of the Year voting


Sam Hinkie’s “process” was always more popular, understood, appreciated, whatever-phrase-you-want, by the people in and around the league than by most fans and some of the media members.

Which explains why Hinkie received multiple votes for Executive of the Year. That would be the Sam Hinkie that Sixers ownership pushed to the side with the hiring of Jerry Colangelo, and eventually out the door with the hiring of Bryan Colangelo.

Hinkie received one second place and two third place votes for Executive of the Year, which was won by R.C. Buford of the Spurs. He came in 10th in the voting, ahead of Dennis Lindsey of the Jazz, Wes Wilcox of the Hawks, and John Hammond of the Bucks.

The voting for this award is done by the other NBA executives (unlike MVP, Rookie of the Year, and other awards voted on by select media members).

Hinkie took “getting bad to get good” to a new level, but in doing so made the Sixers worse in the short term than even he intended. He made mistakes: He did a poor job selling his plan to the public, he refused to spend enough to draw role-playing veterans to stabilize things on the court and in the locker room, and he may have missed on draft picks (the jury is still out on that).

But he also understood that to turn the Sixers around he was going to have to draft a superstar, and he put the organization in the best possible position to do just that. This is a team loaded with young players and draft picks, assets that the Colangelos likely will turn into a good team in a few years. They will bask in the glory, but they will do it standing on the foundation that Hinkie laid.


Sixers say Dario Saric still plans to play for Philadelphia next season


If I were Dario Saric’s agent, I would be telling him — begging him — to play one more season overseas. I can give him more than $10 million reasons it’s a good idea.

However, Saric has repeatedly said he plans to come to the NBA next season, bringing his 6’10” frame and guard-like skills.

Now Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo and coach Brett Brown are going to meet with him to convince Saric to do just that, Colangelo said onTCN’s Breakfast on Broad (via Jessica Camerato at CSNPhilly.com.)

Colangelo believes the shape of the roster, including who the Sixers select in the draft, could have an impact on Saric’s decision.

“We think this is good timing for him,” Colangelo said. “We hope that he does have a desire to be here.”

Here’s the math. If Saric comes to the NBA next season (two seasons after he was drafted) he is locked into the 2014 rookie scale, meaning his salary would be (via our own Dan Feldman).

2016-17: $2,318,280
2017-18: $2,422,560
2018-19: $2,526,840 (team option)
2019-20: $3,481,986 (team option)

For those of you counting at home, that’s about $4.7 million guaranteed and $10.8 for the four years of the contract. After three seasons, the Sixers could offer a contract extension beyond this deal, but he would be locked in for the rookie scale that fourth year.

However, if Saric waits one more season and comes over for the NBA’s 2017-18 season, he can negotiate any deal he can get from Philadelphia. This is what Tiago Splitter and Nikola Mirotic did, and Mirotic negotiated a 3-year deal worth $16.6 million last summer. That would be Mirotic, the 23rd pick in the draft who signed before the salary cap spike that will come the next two years in the NBA thanks to the new national television deal. Saric was the 12th pick. Conservatively, if Saric waits for a season he should be able to to get three years $21 million from the Sixers, or four years $28 million (that will be about the average NBA salary). That’s at least — at least — $10 million more guaranteed. If your argument is “he gets to his second contract faster coming over now” you are wrong — he would still be under his rookie deal through 2020, if he comes over next summer he can sign a three-year deal for $10 million more and he would still be a free agent in 2020.

Maybe it’s not all about the money with him, maybe Saric wants to be in the NBA that badly. If so, more power to him. But I’ll believe it when I see it. This is a business and staying overseas one more year is the smart business move.

Rockets coaching search update: Kenny Smith to be interviewed, Frank Vogel contacted

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 12:  Basketball player Kenny Smith speaks onstage as Fall Out Boy takes the stage at American Express All-Star Live at Hammerstein Ballroom broadcast live on TNT to tip-off NBA All-Star 2015 on February 12, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for American Express)
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The Houston Rockets’ wide-ranging coaching search just keeps marching along. We know there has been contact with Mike D’Antoni, Sam Cassell, Stephen Silas, Chris Finch and others.

Tuesday it’s the turn for a big name but a longshot — Kenny “The Jet” Smith — got his chance, reports Calvin Watkins of ESPN.

Monday it was David Blatt’s turn to pitch himself to Houston, and we also learn from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronical Jeff Hornacek gets a shot on Tuesday as well

The guys conventional wisdom around the league at the front of the list — Frank Vogel and Jeff Van Gundy — are still in the wings.

It’s still early in the process, as evidence here is another report from Calvin Watkins about James Harden‘s involvement, or lack thereof, to this point.

The Houston Rockets, who are in the middle of a coaching search, have yet to present any of the candidates to star guard James Harden according to a source. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said they would talk to Harden during the coaching search and free agency process.

The Rockets are taking their time. Which is smart, this is a big hire for them, but the Rockets are not the only team looking around right now and they don’t want their guy to get grabbed by someone else (not that Dave Joerger was).

Watch Kevin Durant drop career playoff best 41 on Spurs

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Kevin Durant struggled in the first half, with the Spurs defense seeming to have contained him on Sunday.

Second half Durant was as good as we have ever seen him — 29 points, including 17 in the fourth quarter when he shot 6-of-6. While Gregg Popovich would say the Spurs made some defensive mistakes on Durant, he also just hit ridiculous contested shots. He was vintage Kevin Durant.

And with that, the series is tied 2-2 heading back to San Antonio.

Report: Grizzlies start coaching search by reaching out to Frank Vogel

TORONTO, ON - MAY 01:  Head Coach Frank Vogel of the Indiana Pacers looks on in the first half of Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Raptors during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 01, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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It looks like the Memphis Grizzlies are going to start their effort to replace their unexpectedly fired coach by talking to an unexpectedly fired coach.

The Grizzlies front office will talk to several candidates to replace David Joerger, starting with reaching out to recently deposed Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The Memphis Grizzlies have begun making contact with several head-coaching candidates, as well as the representatives of Frank Vogel, league sources told The Vertical…

Memphis has started reaching out to teams to obtain permission to interview candidates, and league sources told The Vertical that part of the franchise’s working list of coaches includes former Phoenix Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, San Antonio assistant Ettore Messina, Charlotte Hornets associate head coach Patrick Ewing, Portland assistant Nate Tibbets and Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale, league sources said.

Vogel will have options, he needs to decide if he wants to jump back in, and if so where. He can afford to wait if he wants. But he also would be a good fit in Memphis, with his defense-first mindset fitting with the grit and grind style of the Grizzlies.

Beyond Vogel, that’s a strong list of potential candidates. My question: Are any of them clear upgrades over Joerger? If a team is going to let a good coach go the front office needs to have an upgrade in the wings. Are any of these guys, including Vogel, really an upgrade?

Joerger is nearing taking over as the coach of the Sacramento Kings.