Sam Hinkie might be on his way back to the NBA, at the expense of Vlade Divac.
The Kings have publicly denied reports that they are interested in hiring former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie or demoting current GM Vlade Divac.
Sacramento received permission from the Sixers to interview Hinkie about joining Sacramento’s front office, ESPN’s Marc Stein and Zach Lowe reported Monday night.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive “has been quietly searching” for an executive to oversee current GM Vlade Divac, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported, adding that Hinkie is “unsure” of whether he wants the job.
“The Kings are not hiring Sam Hinkie and have no plans to bring anyone in above Vlade,” the team said in a statement later Monday.
Wojnarowski quickly doubled down on his report following the Kings' surprisingly definitive statement.
Hinkie resigned from his post with the Sixers last season after three seasons with the team. Philadelphia averaged less than 16 wins per season while Hinkie employed a strategy of tanking aggressively. The plan was met with mixed reception, though public opinion shifted slightly in Hinkie’s favor after Joel Embiid made his debut this season.
Divac was widely criticized for his trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans and the Kings are currently mired in their 11th straight losing season. Divac, a legend on the court for Sacramento, was hired as GM and vice president of basketball operations before the 2015–16 season.
Hinkie relocated to California’s Bay Area after being fired by the Sixers.