WHILE ALL has been quiet on the 76ers front of late, with no coaching rumors and secrecy as to what rookies they might bring in for workouts, new president and general manager Sam Hinkie has been anything but passive during his short tenure with the club. Save for a couple of days back in Houston with his wife and two children over the Memorial Day weekend, Hinkie has been holed up in his office for most of the day, taking breaks only for nourishment and sleep.

What exactly he is doing in there is anyone's guess, but the top priorities are obviously the draft and the next coach - perhaps in that order.

Since saying that he is looking for "the right coach" and that the search may take some time, Hinkie has seemed to stay that course. The likes of Jeff Hornacek (Phoenix), Mike Malone (Sacramento), Mike Budenholzer (Atlanta), Steve Clifford (Charlotte), Mike Brown (Cleveland) and Larry Drew (Milwaukee) have all filled coaching vacancies, trimming the list of candidates for the Sixers, it would seem. Or maybe Hinkie has had someone else in mind since the beginning of his stint here.

Maybe Indiana associate head coach Brian Shaw was on speed dial after the Pacers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday. Or perhaps Lionel Hollins, who appears to be on his way out in Memphis, would coach another team, despite his recent words that he wanted only to oversee the Grizzlies. It appears he will be replaced by assistant Dave Joerger. Hollins' contract expires on June 30.

Vinnie Del Negro was let go after posting the best single-season record in Clippers history before failing to get out of the first round of the playoffs.

And there probably is a bevy of other viable candidates whose resumés Hinkie is checking.

Or maybe the answer Hinkie has in mind is just a few offices away. When Doug Collins announced he wasn't returning on April 18, the day after the final game of the season, he vacated the head-coaching spot but took with him the $4.5 million salary that was owed him for the upcoming season. He and his assistants had signed a 1-year extension before last season. Collins got his money and went. The assistants are still under contract and remain working for the organization.

Will Hinkie put the franchise in the lap of Collins' associate head coach, Michael Curry? Could the remaining staff of Curry, Aaron McKie, Jeff Capel and Monte Shubik stay?

There certainly could be reasons as to why it would make sense. This organization doesn't appear to be going anywhere in the near future, especially not this upcoming season. The Sixers have the 11th pick in the draft, which is considered a mediocre one, at best. They have little money to play with - about $12 million under the salary cap - and that is with eight players under contract. Trades? Perhaps, but do they have much to barter with? While it would be conceivable that just about everyone on the roster could be dangled, how much improvement could there be?