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Jerry Colangelo praises Sam Hinke but says Sixers now have “much more of a defined game plan”

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 03: Former owner of the Phoenix Suns, Jerry Colangelo waves during half time of the NBA game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Talking Stick Resort Arena on March 3, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Jerry and Bryan Colangelo were not brought in to “trust the process,” but they are the biggest beneficiaries of it. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft — plus a wealth of future picks — are all in place because of former GM Sam Hinkie.

The question heading into this summer is will the Sixers chase name free agents to win now, or will they be patient, develop players, and trust the process to allow this team to mature more slowly.

Jerry Colangelo was interviewed on Friday by Chris Carlin and Ike Reese on 94 WIP in Philly, and he was asked about Hinkie.

“I respect the fact that he thought so much out of the box, which he really did, in terms of being the analytical guy that he is,” Colangelo said. “And of course, people can look back on decisions that were made — good or bad — and most everyone’s track record is full of both and [they] come to their own conclusions.

“Since the change in management, there’s much more of a defined game plan in terms of going forward, and that’s very positive, in my opinion, for the franchise. Sam left some good stuff in place, no question about that. Along the line there was a lot of pain in terms of incredible losing and that could only be sustained for a period of time. And I think in Philly’s case, I think he probably ran out of time.”

Hinkie was willing to nakedly game the system — a lot of teams will tank for picks, but the Sixers under Hinkie were unabashed in doing so. Which rubbed the league office and some others around the NBA the wrong way. Hinkie’s mistakes were maybe being too blatant about it, and not being media savvy enough (or comfortable with the press and social media) to sell his plan better. Eventually, the losing and the pressure were too much for owner Joshua Harris.

Is the “defined game plan” from the Colangelos really much more than following Hinkie’s blueprint, just with a couple more veterans sprinkled in? Whatever they are doing, whatever success the Sixers have going forward, it was Hinkie who laid the foundation.