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Jeff Van Gundy: NBA teams should ask Sam Hinkie for advice

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The former NBA head coach and Sam Hinkie colleague sounds off on the resignation.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Hinkie's resignation has turned the Sixers into front-page news the last few days, providing discourse about the rebuild from all angles. Getting a fresh perspective from some notable NBA names is useful in gauging perspective outside of the Philadelphia hivemind.

Zach Lowe had ESPN colleague and former NBA head coach Jeff Van Gundy on The Lowe Post podcast to discuss the Sixers (among other topics), and the former Rockets coach spoke highly of Hinkie:

If you just look at the facts, you can make an argument, I think a valid argument, that he did a lot of good things that put them in great position going forward, but was pushed out.

I think Sam is really, really bright. If I was an organization right now, I would try to get him on the phone and have him be the contrarian to whatever my plan was, whether it's a paid position or just free advice.One thing I knew from my time in Houston and I continue to know now, is he's an exceptionally bright guy who works hard.

Hinkie may not be a head executive again anytime soon, but he still appears to have quite a few admirers. I'm not sure what the next step is, particularly after reading that fascinating resignation letter, but opportunities will pop up.

Van Gundy would go on to mention the role he feels not playing the media game had in Hinkie's ousting, and expressed his feelings on the rush to declare the departed GM a failure:

You cannot judge Sam Hinkie's three-year tenure today. You have to wait and see if [Joel Embiid] develops. If Embiid doesn't ever play, there's something. If Embiid goes on to be a perennial All-Star, then you have to give Sam Hinkie a lot of credit. Same with [Jahlil] Okafor, [Dario Saric] who may or may not be coming over this year.

This isn't just a Sam Hinkie plan, you don't get to do whatever you want as a general manager. This is a collaborative plan, that was cosigned by whoever in ownership has that ability to do that. I hate when people it's Sam Hinkie coming up with this; yeah he had some of these ideas, but they had to be approved.

The record is awful, historically bad. But there are things that were done very well, and a lot remains to be seen on his plan. I think we have to wait for judgment. I think if he had played the media game better and more, I think that will serve him going forward in his next job.

You can listen to the full podcast HERE, and it includes an opening eight-minute monologue from Lowe worth tuning in for.