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Uram: The Sixers’ off-season is becoming an all-time flop

You hear that thump?

That’s a bowling ball hitting the gutter hard at the fictional “Andrew Bynum Lanes” on the banks of the Delaware River in Camden.

Instead of rolling a strike, the Sixers appeared to miss all their pins this summer.

They might as well rehire Sam Hinkie at this point, because at this point their off-season can’t become any stranger. Other than re-signing veteran sharpshooter and leader JJ Redick, the organization fell flat on its face in its quest for “star hunting.” LeBron James took his talents to La La Land. Paul George decided to say in the extremely exciting town of Oklahoma City so he can underachieve with Russell Westbrook. The Kawhi Leonard trade rumblings appear to be dwindling down. And even “Professor Big Shots” Nemanja Bjelica decided to play in Europe instead of South Philadelphia.

So, not only did the Sixers lose out – actually, they never stood a chance – on the best player of his generation in LeBron, but the guy supposed to replace Ersan Ilyasova chose Europe over the 76ers. Bjelica later told Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, passing on the Sixers was what was best for his family. He did not want to move his young children to a new city temporarily.

While Bjelica’s situation makes sense, the story of the Sixers off-season gets better. Don’t click away yet.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Sixers’ search to replace Bryan Colangelo made its way to Houston as they apparently tried to pry Daryl Morey from the Rockets.

If Harris and co. seriously thought they were going to convince Morey to leave Houston – a team he built to be Golden State’s toughest out – and join the 76ers, the same organization that reportedly phased out his pupil in Sam Hinkie, then they might as well give Hinkie a call and ask to make amends. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but rehiring Hinkie actually makes the most sense at this point. While Brett Brown developed the Sixers into an Eastern Conference contender, the former general manager’s decisions did set the head coach up nicely to do so.

Bringing Hinkie back would give a disappointed fan base, specifically the “Hinkie-ites,” something to celebrate this off-season. And in actuality, it would be really interesting to see how Hinkie handles a winner. Would he continue to wheel and deal to acquire “assets” like he did when the team was allegedly “tanking,” or would he point the 52-win Sixers into championship contention?

Seriously, welcoming Hinkie back to Philadelphia this off-season is perfect. It’s already bizarre enough.

Before I forget … 

• The Phillies are one of the worst teams in baseball in terms of batting average, slugging percentage and strikeouts. Whether it’s a big name like Manny Machado, or someone a little less potent, they need to improve their offense by the trade deadline. The team should capitalize on its surprising first place standing at the All-Star break. The only way they’ll start filling Citizens Bank Park regularly again is being in a playoff race and making the postseason.

• Chase Utley announced last week that he plans on retiring from baseball when the season is over. Utley’s numbers from 2005 to 2009 are very worthy of Cooperstown. The same can’t be written for every year after that. Utley’s drop off will probably prevent “The Man” from reaching the Hall of Fame. But, his style of play, likability in the Phillies’ and Dodgers’ clubhouses and longevity in the sport that is becoming more analytical by the day, should sway the voters from their normal criteria and put Utley in.

• Doug Pederson may not have won the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe (Tony Romo did … bleh), but Pederson did impressively hit for eagle on the 18th hole, which was fittingly followed by an E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES chant. Pederson continues to do no wrong since winning the Super Bowl.

• On the other hand, former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo made himself look silly last week. McAdoo told Paul Schwartz of The New York Post last week the Eagles would experience trouble handling success. Uh, okay. Those are strong words from the guy who went 11-5 in his first season as New York head coach to 2-10 before being fired.  


Dave Uram is a weekly contributor to Philly Influencer. You can follow him on Twitter (@MrUram) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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