76ers GM, president Sam Hinkie steps down

1:04 | NBA
76ers GM, president Sam Hinkie steps down
Thursday April 7th, 2016

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Philadelphia 76ers general manager and president of operations Sam Hinkie has stepped down in both roles, the team announced Wednesday. ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported the news.

Former Raptors president and GM Bryan Colangelo will replace Hinkie, according to John Gonzalez of Comcast Philadelphia. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed Colangelo’s hiring.

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In December, Philadelphia hired veteran executive Jerry Colangelo, Bryan’s father, as chairman of basketball operations in a move that altered the decision-making structure of the organization. 

The 76ers are 10–68 with four games left in the season, worst in the league. Hinkie has been the team’s general manager since prior to the 2013–14 season, and the team has gone 47–195 in nearly three seasons since. The Sixers opened this season with an 18-game losing streak, and held a 1–30 record going into Christmas.

“This evening, Sam Hinkie notified the organization that he has elected to step down as President of Basketball Operations and General Manager,” Sixers owner Josh Harris said in a statement. “While we are disappointed in Sam’s decision, we would like to sincerely thank him for his contributions over the past three seasons. There is no question that Sam's work has put us in a very strong position to take advantage of numerous opportunities for an exciting future.”

ESPN obtained Hinkie’s letter of resignation, which reportedly runs 13 pages.

Wojnarowski adds that the team had angled to pair Hinkie with another new hiring to run the team, with the younger Colangelo and former Hawks GM Danny Ferry potential hires. Ownership, he reports, did not plan to fire Hinkie.

Wojnarowski also reported Wednesday night that members of the Sixers’ front office were unaware whether Hinkie had resigned.

Hinkie, 38, was responsible for the Sixers’ still-in-progress rebuilding efforts, using lottery picks on players including Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel and dealing away assets, including Michael Carter-Williams, for more draft picks. The strategy, which led to the Sixers bottoming out and often fielding rosters laden with marginal NBA players, was commonly maligned as “tanking” in an effort to obtain better odds in the draft lottery.

The most controversial of those selections was Embiid, the third overall pick in 2014, who has yet to appear in an NBA game. Multiple foot surgeries stemming from an injury that occurred six days prior to his draft selection have kept him off the floor. Another criticism of the Sixers’ decision-making came after Okafor was involved in several off-court incidents early this season, after which some posited that the team lacked veteran leadership to guide its young talent.

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Hinkie said recently on ESPN’s Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe that he lost 20 pounds from November to January of this season due to stress and the team’s struggles.

Jeremy Woo

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