The Sixers have the third pick in the 2017 NBA draft due to their pick swap with the Kings. Sam Hinkie acquired that pick swap in a lopsided trade back in the summer of 2015, a fact that wasn’t lost on Sixers owner Joshua Harris, who thanked Hinkie at the lottery, per The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey:
#Sixers owner Josh Harris: "Thank you Sam Hinkie."— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 17, 2017
And then there’s this from the Delaware County Times’ Jack McCaffery:
Josh Harris: 'I am going to text Sam Hinkie a big kiss tonight.' #Sixers #NBADraft— Jack McCaffery (@JackMcCaffery) May 17, 2017
A big kiss? To Sam Hinkie?!? WHAT?!?
This couldn’t be more unexpected. It’s also just a blatantly weird statement, especially considering the way Sixers ownership didn’t mind the door hitting Hinkie on his way out in the middle of the 2016 season. Then came Hinkie’s infamous resignation letter, where it seemed clear that several of the owners were fed up with the length of Hinkie’s plan. They essentially offered him a demotion in favor of nepotistic hiring from the Colangelo family, but he decided to just walk away instead.
They let him go in the least honorable way possible. If Harris really wanted to give Hinkie a big ol’ kiss, he could’ve just kept the man as the team’s general manager before unnecessarily flaking out on this process just a few months before the debuts of Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.
Harris and the Sixers ownership ultimately weren’t satisfied with what Hinkie had brought to the franchise during his nearly three years captaining the ship. If they had a bit more patience and trusted what he had initially set out to do, maybe he would still be at the helm today and Harris wouldn't be sending out half-hearted emoji texts to Hinkie.