For a team unsure of how the lineup will look next season, without a coach, and with a lottery pick looming, the Sixers have kept things considerably quiet since the hiring of Sam Hinkie.
The silence is not necessarily a bad thing, as it is very possible that Hinkie has a plan in place. Maybe he is waiting for permission to speak with an assistant on one of the remaining playoff teams (Brian Shaw anyone?), or maybe he is simply keeping his ideas under wraps until they become more concrete.
However even if Hinkie does have a plan prepared, seeing several coaches who were mentioned as candidates for the Sixers’ vacancy get snatched up by other squads is somewhat unnerving.
Cleveland snagged Mike Brown, Atlanta signed Spurs super-assistant Mike Budenholzer, and the Phoenix Suns recently named Jeff Hornacek their new head coach; all candidates that the Sixers were reportedly interested in.
Although this early in the offseason naming a new coach is not absolutely imperative, a selection needs to be made, and the sooner the better. While the activity of other teams may not provide enough impetus to make a move, the approaching draft and following free agent frenzy, should. While the franchise’s front office is capable of scouting players in the coming weeks, ideally you would definitely like to have a coach in place by draft day.
One would like to think that the new head coach, whoever he may be, and Hinkie will develop and grow together, helping to build the future of the franchise. Decisions on players, personnel, plan and direction should be achieved in accord, beginning with the draft decision.
This is idealistic, but it would be nice if the Sixers could retain a coach for longer than three seasons.
Whoever is going to be tasked with coaching this team and building a line-up should at least have lottery input. Free agency begins shortly after the draft, and again, a coach needs to be in place in order to pursue players and properly develop a game plan. Naming a coach after serious personnel moves have been made seems counterproductive to what the team is trying to accomplish.
Again, if Hinkie has a plan in place more power to him, and the team should preach patience. However, recent reports say that the Sixers have yet to interview a single candidate for the job, and that Hinkie is spending his time continuing to familiarize himself with team personnel.
So either Hinkie is keeping his plans on the extreme down low, or the team is slightly behind the curve when it comes to naming a new coach. Obviously this is an extremely important decision for the future, and not one that should be arrived at quickly or haphazardly, but the sooner a coach is put into place, the sooner the franchise can focus on building a winner.