Hinkie, who interviewed with the 76ers for a similar job last year, fits team owner Joshua Harris' desire to use more analytics when it comes to player evaluation. Hinkie spent the past eight seasons with the Rockets, a team that has led the way in developing statistical analysis.
Hinkie is replacing the 76ers' front office of president Rod Thorn and general manager Tony DiLeo. Thorn long had planned to retire after the season. Harris originally said DiLeo, who has been with the 76ers since 1990, would stay on as GM when it was announced three weeks ago that Doug Collins was stepping down as coach.
But it appears Harris has decided to make a clean break and start over; Thorn, DiLeo and Collins -- who was said to be moving to a consulting role -- will not have a significant voice in future decisions.
The first move for Hinkie will be to hire a coach. The team is believed to be interested in coaches who will follow the new philosophy of using analytics to help determine lineups and styles.
The team potentially could have salary-cap room this summer, depending on what it decides to do with free-agent center Andrew Bynum, who missed all of this past season because of knee problems after the team made a blockbuster move to acquire him last summer.