Another weird night for the Kings.
ESPN reported Monday night the team had received permission from the 76ers to speak with their former GM Sam Hinkie about a front-office position. Hinkie left his job in Philadelphia in April 2016, and is required to sit out the 2016-17 season under the terms of a non-compete clause in his deal. That matches a report from The Vertical stating Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive is searching for an executive to place over current GM Vlade Divac in the Kings front office.
The Kings later issued a statement denying these reports.
But The Vertical reports there is little to the Kings’ statement aside from spin, and Ranadive indeed is canvassing the league for a new personnel hire.
Hinkie was infamous for installing “The Process” during his time with the Sixers, which was an interesting idea in theory and a disaster in practice. Philadelphia intentionally bottomed out to increase its odds of landing high draft picks, which the team hoped it could use to build the franchise into a contender from the ground up.
But none of the picks worked out as planned — Joel Embiid is injured again after appearing in just 31 total games in his first three seasons, Jahlil Okafor has been limited by injuries (and his interest in playing on only one end of the floor) and Nerlens Noel was traded to Dallas at the deadline because there were too many big men on the roster.
The way the team was constructed created a culture of losing, and the all-out tanking was such a bad look for the league that commissioner Adam Silver stepped in. Once Jerry Colangelo was brought in to the Sixers as a consultant, it was the beginning of the end for Hinkie — and The Process.
The Kings, meanwhile, finally moved on from the toxic DeMarcus Cousins at the trade deadline, but got so…