Report: 76ers hire Hinkie as prez, GM

The 76ers crunched the numbers and decided to put the franchise

in the hands of an analytics guru.

A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press

the Sixers have hired Sam Hinkie as team president and general

manager. The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because

the deal was not expected to become official until next week.

Hinkie, the executive vice president of basketball operations

for the Houston Rockets, was the top choice by owner Joshua Harris

to oversee the rebuilding of the beleaguered franchise.

Hinkie is an analytics disciple and spoke in March at the MIT

Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. His conference bio listed him as

an ”original contributor to the leading sports analytics

conference held annually at MIT.”

The Rockets became the first NBA team to manage the basketball

operations of its D-League team. Likely as a sign of what’s ahead,

the 76ers last month acquired a team to compete in the NBA’s

developmental league in Delaware.

Hinkie must now hire a coach after Doug Collins resigned

following three seasons. Collins and former Rod Thorn are

officially consultants for the team, but are now in the background

of a major reconstruction project that Harris, Hinkie and a new

coach will tackle.

Tony DiLeo is out after one full season as Sixers general

manager. DiLeo, who completed his 23rd season with the Sixers, had

been working as senior vice president before his promotion. He had

a brief stint as an assistant in the early 1990s, and took over as

interim coach in December 2008 after Maurice Cheeks was fired.

DiLeo was widely credited – and now blamed – for orchestrating

the botched deal for center Andrew Bynum. DiLeo did not immediately

return a request for comment.

Philadelphia went to the playoffs in Collins’ first two seasons,

and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. But

with Bynum injured all season, the 76ers stumbled to a 34-48 finish

this season.

Bynum never played for the Sixers because of bone bruises in

both knees. He insisted from training camp he would play this

season, only to shut it down for good on March 18 and undergo

season-ending arthroscopic surgery on both knees. Bynum earned

$16.5 million this season and is set to become an unrestricted free

agent.

Bynum is one of six free agents for the Sixers, who are devoid

of any real assets. Jrue Holiday was an All-Star in his third full

season and joined Wilt Chamberlain as the two players in the

franchise’s 50-year history to average more than 17 points and

eight assists for an entire season.

Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are solid assets. But those two

standouts – along with Holiday – weren’t enough to help lead the

Sixers back to the postseason.

In a preview of the looming shakeup, the Sixers hired Aaron

Barzilai as their analytics director in November. He is the founder

of BasketballValue.com, a website which presents adjusted and

unadjusted plus/minus ratings for players and units to illustrate

the impact a player has on the court as well as on a team’s

offensive and defensive efficiency. He also has contributed content

to 82games.com.