If there's anything the Philadelphia 76ers need more than anything right now -- other than a starting point guard -- it's some good press. Between Joel Embiid's setback, other executives becoming annoyed with the Sixers extended rebuilding plan, and agents angered by their negotiating tactics, Sam Hinkie has essentially become the NBA equivalent of a supervillian. But a new report from the Philadelphia Inquirer Saturday evening does little to help paint the Sixers general manager in a positive light.
The 76ers were ordered to pay the New Orleans Pelicans $3 million by the NBA last season for not fully disclosing Jrue Holiday's injury history before he was traded two years ago, according to two sources.
The sources said Holiday played with stress fractures in his lower right leg during his final season with the Sixers. However, the sources said, those injures weren't fully disclosed to the Pelicans.
Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie declined to comment, but a Sixers team source disputed the allegation.
"That's not true," the Sixers source added.
There's a lot going on here. Two people, seemingly outside the organization, are saying something pretty damning, while an organizational source seems to be doing its best to cover the team's ass. Pompey astutely notes later in the article that an ailment of this kind should have popped up when the Pelicans conducted a physical, especially if this was something that didn't receive any sort of procedure.
Our own Matt Carey also points out that the league by-laws for this kind of ordeal state the maximum penalty is $1 million, so something is missing here. Regardless, that isn't really the point.
The problem is that Sam Hinkie has genuinely pissed off a lot of people during his short tenure in Philadelphia, and people are willing to start leaking stuff to the press if that means throwing him under the bus. This is not the first time he's been accused of devious tactics, and frankly, it seems like the issues might start catching up.
These negative reports keep continue to pile on top of each other, and are seemingly going to hurt his ability to conduct business going forward. For the most part, everything he has done seems to be within NBA rules, but you can only tip-toe the lines of legality and treat people like robots instead of humans for so long until teams and agents no longer want to deal with you.
Based off the amount the organization was fined and the time at which this information is released, it seems as though there's more to this. Whether the full story comes to light at this point, who knows. Regardless, it's a bad look for a general manager who seems to hold a consensus around the league for being pretty shady.
Pompey also dropped this tidbit:
According to the other two sources, the Sixers are now trying to receive a payment from the Los Angeles Lakers for allegedly misinforming them about Andrew Bynum. Bynum came to the Sixers from Los Angeles in a four-team deal in August 2012. But the 7-foot center never played for the team due to chronically injured knees.
"They are saying the Lakers didn't disclose all of the information about Bynum's knees," one of the sources said. "They think they should be able to get some type of monetary resolution."
This seems like a serious uphill battle the Sixers are trying to fight. Bynum's knee issues were documented for years before he was acquired during the summer of 2012, and Philadelphia trotted him around to doctors who gave their blessing on the deal. Not to mention, there was the famous bowling incident while Bynum was a member of the Sixers where he re-damaged his already shattered knees.
Compared to the Jrue Holiday situation, where they seemingly hid information about the injury, the Bynum ordeal seems like sour grapes.
On one hand, the Sixers pretty much knowingly screwed over another team. On the other, they took a gamble and lost. These seem like two really different situations.
The Sixers may receive some serious public backlash for this report, but to most around the league, I imagine they're starting to see shady dealings as something right up Philadelphia's alley.