Former Rockets' executive Sam Hinkie assumed the duties of President of Basketball Operations for the 76ers only less than a month ago, but he's already exploring different ways to reel in a familiar face or two from Houston to come join him in The City of Brotherly Love.
With a handful NBA assistants earning themselves head coaching gigs over the last couple of weeks, the list of candidates for Philadelphia's own existing vacancy is quickly dwindling. Still, Hinkie must believe there are nevertheless, a couple of promising names still available.
Among those coaches still up for grabs are Houston assistants Kelvin Samspson and Chris Finch.
Sampson, a former college head coach, has been widely coveted and considered by plenty of NBA executives for similar positions in the past. While Rockets' head coach Kevin McHale dealt with some more pressing personal matters, Sampson stepped in this season to help ensure Houston stayed afloat as they never stopped eyeing a playoff run.
As Sampson's continued success and past proven track record never ceases to attract attention from other teams, Finch, too, appears to be an up and comer.
As fate would have it, Finch is a successful NBA D-League alumni, at least with regard to the coaching ranks. He led the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to two consecutive NBADL Finals appearances in 2010 and 2011, leading RGV to a championship win in his first year. For his efforts, Finch received "Coach of the Year" award honors following the 2009-10 season.
After leading the Vipers to their second straight Finals appearance in 2011, Finch's success earned him a call-up of his own, as he joined the Rockets' bench the following season as an assistant.
Having proven himself on the minor league level, and now currently working his way up the NBA ladder as a key member of Coach McHale's staff in Houston, is Finch ready for another promotion?
Because he watched and worked with Finch rather closely, perhaps Hinkie believes he's close to earning that shot. Though they have solid talent and a couple of proven players already, the 76ers are undoubtedly a young team. That, coupled with the fact that Philadelphia recently purchased their own D-League team for next season (the Delaware 76ers), could mean Finch would be a decent fit for the job.
Until a decision regarding their head coach is made, the 76ers will let associate head coach Michael Curry lead the way during forthcoming draft workouts. Given his ability to assess, handle, and help nurture younger talent, there's no doubt Finch's prospective would be a welcomed one at a time like this.