Sam Hinkie is back on the market.
The former Sixers’ GM is a free agent this summer, with the conclusion of the NBA season bringing an end to the noncompete clause in his contract.
There were some rumors floating around a while back about the Kings showing Hinkie interest, but that’s stagnated a bit. The resulting mentions have mostly been restricted to wordy think pieces, and more measured takes with a bit of humor and dryness.
The architect of the Sixers’ Process has been mum on his next career move.
Of course, the Process strategy is not as simple as blowing up the roster, tanking, and rebuilding. You have to identify rules to parse and exploit. You have to take some risks along the way. The Process was created to land a generational superstar, not tread water as the 7th seed in the east.
In honor of Hinkie’s contractual freedom, here are 20 organizations that could benefit from a fresh perspective and new direction.
20. Seattle Mariners
The last time the Mariners were in the playoffs, Gary Payton was still running the point for the hometown Supersonics. And the last pitcher to win a playoff game for the Mariners was ex-Phillie Jamie Moyer, who got the best of the Yankees in game three of the 2001 ALCS.
Oddly enough, another Phillie from the 2008 World Series team pitched for the Mariners on Tuesday night in a 20-7 loss:
Carlos Ruiz strikes out Kennys Vargas! pic.twitter.com/4SBX6WR9M5
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) June 14, 2017
Seattle was founded in 1977 and is one of just two MLB teams to never appear in the World Series. Washington is the other club to join that exclusive group.
19. Arizona Coyotes
Coyotes’ owner Andrew Barroway just spent $240 million to buy out his partners and acquire the minority shares of his team.
That’s the latest upheaval for a franchise that went through bankruptcy proceedings and was nearly relocated a few years back. They’ve been posting negative operating income for some time now and had a slew of front office and management issues.
The club hired a 27-year-old general manager John Chayka, who is 16 years younger than the next guy on the list, Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman. The 2011-2012 Coyotes had a great run to the conference finals but haven’t been back to the playoffs in the five years since. They finished 6th in the Pacific this season.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars
David Garrard was under center the last time the Jags went to the playoffs.
In the nine years since that first round win against the Steelers, Jacksonville has finished below .500 eight times, going through three full time coaches and two interim coaches.
Maybe the most disappointing thing for Jags’ fans is that they haven’t been able to compete in the AFC South, a division that has been mostly wide open since Peyton Manning’s departure from the Colts back in 2011.
They’ll attempt to turn it around this year with the underwhelming retread head coach Doug Marrone, and the return of former coach Tom Coughlin in a front office role.
— Born to Suffer (@KingM91) March 27, 2017
17. Carolina Hurricanes
With Edmonton making a short playoff run this season, the Carolina Hurricanes are now the owners of the NHL’s longest playoff drought.
The 2009 ‘Canes, a six seed, went all the way to the Conference Finals before allowing 20 goals to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins in a four-game sweep.
They’re an unbalanced squad, with a good crop of defensemen but a lack of true firepower at the center position. Flip a couple of players and put Victor Rask and Jordan Staal into supporting roles, then maybe you’re moving in the right direction in a stacked Metropolitan Division.
16. Philadelphia Union
The team is in good hands under Sporting Director Earnie Stewart, who makes the club look like a real franchise for the first time ever.
The problem is that they don’t have the money and resources of other MLS teams, which makes this an uphill battle for even the best practitioners of Moneyball.
Sam Hinkie would have a field day in Major League Soccer, which offers a lot of different avenues for player-personnel acquisition and resource allocation. MLS, for instance, offers up targeted and general “allocation money,” which are dollar amounts that can traded to other teams or used to buy down contracts and transfer fees.
Hinkie would have plenty of tools at his disposal and certainly find a way to exploit roster management in a league that sort of has a salary cap and makes up rules on the fly.
15. Philadelphia Phillies
Sam would have shipped out Ryan Howard and started the rebuilding process years ago.
The Phillies … seem to be moving in the right direction with Matt Klentak at the helm. Or are they? I don’t even know.
The bullpen is horrendous, the starting pitching is worse than we thought, and prospects continue to flail about in the minors while the Phils trudge through summer with baseball’s worst record. Michael Saunders is batting .200 and Maikel Franco only finally woke up from his season-long snooze. Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr have at least provided something for us to enjoy.
We knew it was going to be bad, but we didn’t think it would be atrocious.
MacPhail: Our Bullpen sucks! Get help!
Klentak: I'm on it! (ring ring) Hello LHV? Get me Morgan
MacPhail: Wait. What?
— Marc Farzetta (@MarcFarzetta) May 19, 2017
14. Philadelphia Flyers
The first order of business was signing Shayne Gostisbehere to a long term deal, despite the sophomore bumps in the road. Six years and $27 million is a solid agreement for a guy who should theoretically rediscover that rookie year form and enter his NHL prime.
And it’s a symbolic step for the Flyers, who made their first offseason priority an internal contract move instead of chasing a high-priced free agent.
The club also has some promising young prospects in the system, such as Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, and Jordan Weal, whose Flyers’ future now seems to be the main focus.
Concerns are at the other end of the spectrum, with the veteran talent and contract situations of players like Andrew MacDonald and Matt Read. The former hits the cap at $5 million and the latter should probably be bought out, dropping his charge from $3.6 million to $1.2 and $1.3 in the next two seasons.
You also need another goaltender and a long look at the core of this team. Are Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, and Wayne Simmonds good enough to get you to the next level? Really? Is that group going to get it done?
Plus, the jury is still out on whether Dave Hakstol is the right guy for the job. I loved the idea of going in a new direction with the coaching hire, as opposed to finding another NHL retread, but this season is going to tell us if he’s an NHL-caliber coach.
13. Philadelphia Eagles
They gambled on the culture-changing Chip Kelly hire, panicked, and went right back to the Andy Reid tree of coaching.
It’s really hard to pin down the birds this season. Carson Wentz could have a great year, bolstered by the additions of Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and LeGarrette Blount. The defense could look much better with an improved pass rush and another year under Jim Schwartz.
Or, we might be looking at a team that is still a few years away, with a mediocre secondary, an aging left tackle, a regressing center, an injured second round draft pick, and a head coach who has less experience than Hakstol.
12. Penn State basketball
I enjoyed the 2011 NCAA matchup between Penn State and Temple.
But they’ve only had one winning season since then, scraping by with a 18-16 record back in 2015.
The conference play has been the biggest let down, with just 28 wins and 79 losses during Radnor native Patrick Chambers’ tenure.
11. England Soccer
Nobody does less with more.
The Three Lions have been one of world football’s biggest disappointments dating back to, I don’t know, probably the ’70s.
They haven’t advanced past the quarterfinals of a major tournament since Euro ’96, which coincidentally was played in England.
Recent failings include a Euro loss to Iceland and a winless 2014 World Cup.
England did, however, just claim the U20 World Cup, so maybe the future offers a glimmer of hope.
The worst defeat in our history. England beaten by a country with more volcanoes than professional footballers. Well played Iceland.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 27, 2016
10. Buffalo Bills and New York Jets
I know they have to play Tom Brady twice a year, but the Bills haven’t been to the playoffs in 17 years and the Jets are still rolling out Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Buffalo has been close on a few occasions, going 9-7 in 2014 and finishing 8-8 the following year. It’s not like they’ve hit Cleveland levels of ineptitude. The same, I guess, could be said for the Jets, who had a nice run with Rex Ryan before the wheels fell off.
Sean McDermott running the helm in Buffalo is one of the more intriguing story lines for me going into this NFL season. The Jets don’t really move the needle for me.
9. Philadelphia Parking Authority
Sam Hinkie would have this mess cleaned up in no time.
8. USA table tennis
There are five sports that the United States has never won an Olympic medal in, and this is one of them.
Asian countries have dominated the sport since it was introduced at the 1988 Seoul games. China actually has more medals, 53, than the rest of world combined (47).
If you want to take it a step further, China and South Korea have won 71 percent of the 100 table tennis medals handed out through the sport’s Olympic history.
7. USA men’s regular tennis
The last American man to win a grand slam singles event was Andy Roddick, way back in 2003.
Serena Williams has won 19 grand slam titles in that same time frame.
6. Kansas football
Long gone are the days of Mark Mangino, Todd Reesing, and Aqib Talib.
The Jayhawks went 8-5 in 2008, the year following a 12-1 season and Orange Bowl victory.
Since then, they’ve posted eight straight losing seasons under four different coaches. They are 19-77 with five Big 12 wins. Only two Jayhawks have been drafted in the first round since 1993, and one of them was Dana Stubblefield, who retired in 2004.
5. Los Angeles Clippers, or anybody in the NBA Western Conference
It’s over. It’s done. This group isn’t getting you anywhere.
After consecutive first-round exits, Dave Wohl would be better served blowing this team up and starting from scratch. It’s not like they’re going to beat the Warriors anyway, which is what the entirety of the Western Conference (and maybe the entire league) can also say.
4. Chicago Bears
You traded from #3 to #2 in the draft?
You traded from #3 to #2 to draft Mitch Trubisky?
You traded from #3 to #2 to draft Mitch Trubisky, after you just signed Mike Glennon to a three-year $45 million contract?
That seems like a good move for a team that has finished dead last in the NFC North for three straight seasons.
3. Penn basketball
It’s been an entire decade since the Quakers played in the NCAA tournament.
In the last five seasons, they’re 4-16 in Big Five play while also going 1-10 vs. bitter rival Princeton.
You’d have to go back to the 2011-2012 season to find the last truly enjoyable stretch of Penn basketball, when Jerome Allen’s team ripped off a seven game winning streak to finish 20-13 with a first round win in the CBI tournament.
2. Cleveland Browns
Will DeShone Kizer be the next Cody Kessler, Johnny Manziel, Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Brady Quinn, Charlie Frye, or Luke McCown?
Only time will tell.
Bring him back. Let Sam Hinkie finish the job he started.
Are the Sixers in a better place with the Colangelos than they were with Sam Hinkie?
— Carlin & Reese (@CarlinReeseWIP) June 2, 2017