New Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie is apparently looking at some of his former Rockets cohorts to be the head coach of his new squad, as Liberty Ballers writes that Hinkie is looking at Houston assistants Kelvin Sampson and Chris Finch to take the open position.
Hinkie's hiring already suggests a new offensive philosophy for the team, and his coaching search appears likely to follow in the same footsteps. As Daryl Morey's top assistant since 2010, Hinkie has had association with both promising coaching prospects and apparently feels they'll be helpful in implementing his analytics-based system.
Sampson, 57, had oodles of success as an NCAA head coach, making the NCAA Tournament all but one year between 1994 and 2007 in jobs at Washington State, Oklahoma, and Indiana, making the Final Four and Elite Eight with the Sooners. But sanctions placed on him after NCAA violations in the recruiting of Eric Gordon led to him becoming a toxic name at the college level and forcing teams to pass a show-cause in order to hire him. He's since been a well-regarded NBA assistant, taking jobs with the Spurs and Bucks and working with Hinkie in Houston since 2011.
Finch, 43, started by performing well overseas and then brought his acumen back home. After a brief European playing career, he took coaching jobs in Britain, Germany and Belgium before taking a job as head coach of the Rockets' D-League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, in 2009. The team would win the D-League Finals in his first year in charge before losing in the finals his second year, at which point the Rockets decided the young coach could learn from his first experience on the NBA sidelines, serving as a top-level assistant the past two seasons. He's also served as the head coach of the British national team, manning the sidelines during the 2012 London Olympics.