Poll: Chip Kelly Or Sam Hinkie Doing a Better Job?


It can be argued that Chip Kelly and Sam Hinkie may be two of the most controversial figures in any front office of any sports franchise in America. Both men have dumped the talent that they were given in order to create opportunities for the gathering of future assets. Kelly has all but dismantled the offense he inherited from Andy Reid, finding replacements for the starting quarterback, running back and both wide receivers. Hinkie wasted little time turning in the Sixers players for a plethora of future draft choices. But the question remains, which guy is doing a better job?

The Case For Hinkie 

When Sam Hinkie took over the Sixers front office from Rod Thorn and Tony DiLeo in the summer of 2013, he took the reigns of a team that was badly crippled by the Andrew Bynum trade and years of cap mismanagement. Hinkie immediately made his presence felt by traded the Sixers’ lone all-star, Jrue Holiday, for Nerlens Noel and a future first-round pick that has become the rights to Dario Saric and a 2017 first-round pick.

Over the course of his first year in power, Hinkie continued to dismantle the team, trading away or releasing the core of the team Doug Collins took to game seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 playoffs. What he got in return was a vast array of draft picks and expiring contracts.

Thanks to his efforts, the Sixers now have “optionality.” Hinkie has taken a team hamstrung by bad contracts and overpaid veterans and created a blank slate. A blank slate on which it is possible to sign young, intriguing talent and give them big minutes to see if they could ever contribute to a winning team. Guys like Thomas Robinson and Henry Sims who were unable to crack the rotation with their previous teams have flourished, at least to a degree, with the increased playing time given to them by head coach Brett Brown.

When you start to include the addition of a healthy Joel Embiid and whoever is selected with the number three overall pick, the Sixers look like a team with a core of young, potential all-stars. Despite all of these positives, there are still some issues with Hinkie’s grand scheme.

First, Hinkie has yet to take any steps forward with the Sixers. He traded away the reigning Rookie of the Year for another draft pick that won’t be seen until 2016 at the earliest. Now, I understand that Michael Carter-Williams was not a star or even an above-average point guard, but it is worrisome that Hinkie will be unable to turn the assets he has collected into a winning team. His mentor and current Houston Rockets president Daryl Morey was able to trade the assets he collected for James Harden. I could be wrong, but there won’t be any James Hardens becoming available anytime soon.

Add in the fact that there are other young teams that are contending in the Eastern Conference such as the Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks, and you see that once Hinkie’s team is fully assembled and ready to compete for a playoff spot, they will be faced with an uphill battle.

The Case For Kelly

Chip Kelly, on the other hand, inherited a talented roster from his predecessor and won the division in his first year. After Nick Foles suffered an injury in Houston and the Eagles lost their grip on the division during a three-game December losing streak, Chip decided to hit the reset button.

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The 2015 Eagles will feature a new quarterback, two new running backs, a new starting wide receiver and at least four new starters on defense, including three in the secondary. Although many people are skeptical of the massive overhaul, its hard to find a position where the Eagles didn’t get better. What Kelly is most concerned about is finding guys that will buy into his programs. He doesn’t care if you are the best big-play wide receiver or the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, if you don’t buy in, you will be out on the streets–or exiled to Buffalo–in a heartbeat.

The major edge Kelly has on Hinkie is the success he’s already encountered during his brief stint in the NFL. A pair of 10-6 seasons and one division title is a lot more palatable to a fan base than back-to-back seasons of tanking. Although, it must be pointed out that Kelly had a lot more to work with than Hinkie did when he took the job.


Kelly, by the slimmest of margins. First, his strategy isn’t anything that hasn’t been done before. Coaches such as Bill Walsh and Jimmy Johnson took their teams and molded players that fit their criteria into a championship roster, whereas Hinkie is taking the idea of tanking to an extreme never seen before in the NBA. Add in the fact that Kelly has continued to win with players that are not perfect matchups for his systems, and that the NFL’s playoff system that can help out an underdog much more than a seven-game series in the NBA, and it looks like Hinkie’s parade of tanks down Broad Street will be following Kelly’s route.

Who is doing a better job?