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The Philadelphia 76ers have hired Houston Rockets executive Sam Hinkie to be their new president of basketball operations and general manager, sources told Friday.

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.

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"I'm just trying to use information to make decisions," Hinkie said. "I think some people move along quickly and others don't. That's OK."

Hinkie replaced president Rod Thorn, who moved into a consulting role, and GM Tony DiLeo, fired after one year on the job and 23 years total in the front office.

Hinkie spent the last eight years in Houston and was the executive vice president of basketball operations for the Rockets. A year after he was passed over for the GM job, Hinkie was the top choice this time by owner Joshua Harris to oversee the rebuilding of this beleaguered franchise.

Hinkie must now hire a coach after Doug Collins resigned following three seasons. Collins and Thorn are officially consultants for the team, but are now in the background of a major reconstruction project that Harris, Hinkie and a new coach will tackle.

The Sixers have a short list of coaching candidates but have not interviewed anyone.

In looking for a coach, Hinkie said all philosophies would be blended into a successful organization, not just analytics.

"I think it's all too-often overstated about how analytically minded a head coach needs to be," Hinkie said. "I think every head coach in the NBA is analytically minded. I think they all want to win. I think more and more, as they meet organizations that have really invested in this, they say this is helpful."

Hinkie replaces DiLeo, who was widely credited -- and now blamed -- for orchestrating the botched deal for injury-prone center Andrew Bynum.

Harris said some of the roster decisions made, like the Bynum deal and giving multi-year deals to Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown, were not made with "good process. They weren't good decisions."

Philadelphia went to the playoffs in Collins' first two seasons, and advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. But with Bynum injured all season, the 76ers stumbled to a 34-48 record this season, finishing 20 games behind division-champion New York. They'll have a first-round pick in the NBA draft lottery and about $11-$12 million in salary cap room. He's off this week to Chicago for the pre-draft camp.

Jrue Holiday was an All-Star in his third full season and joined Wilt Chamberlain as the two players in the franchise's 50-year history to average more than 17 points and eight assists for an entire season. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are solid assets. But those two standouts -- along with Holiday -- weren't enough to help lead the Sixers back to the postseason.

Along the way, Bynum never played for the Sixers because of bone bruises in both knees. He insisted from training camp he would play this season, only to shut it down for good on March 18. He then underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on both knees. Bynum earned $16.5 million this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Bynum is one of six free agents for the Sixers, who are devoid of any real assets outside of Holiday.

Without playing a game for the Sixers, Bynum said at his introductory press conference he wanted to make Philadelphia his home -- and the team was ready to commit.

"Where do I sign?" Harris said last August. "Show me the contract."

There were no enthusiastic endorsements at the Sixers' practice facility on Tuesday.

"I think of Andrew like the thousands of other young men walking around the world that are unrestricted free agents that have potential to play NBA basketball," Hinkie said. "He is one of those. I'm duty bound to consider them and look at them. All of them."

And from Harris?

"We're going to look into it."
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