We’re something like three weeks from training camp and the Sixers still don’t have a general manager.
And it sounds like they’re not in a hurry, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who wrote Monday that the team is still searching for a Bryan Colangelo replacement but would not rule out leaving his job vacant this season:
“It does leave open that possibility,” Harris told ESPN on Monday. “We prefer to find an elite talent who can lead us, but we aren’t going to compromise.”
Since the dismissal of Bryan Colangelo in June, coach Brett Brown has served as the franchise’s interim GM surrounded with front office executives Ned Cohen, Marc Eversley and Elton Brand. The Sixers are promoting those three executives on Monday into expanded roles and new titles, league sources said.
“League sources” are right, because the Sixers sent out a press release a short time ago announcing these promotions:
- Ned Cohen: assistant general manager (old title: VP, BASKETBALL OPERATIONS & CHIEF OF STAFF)
- Marc Eversley: senior VP of player personnel (old title: VP, PLAYER PERSONNEL)
- Elton Brand: VP of basketball operations (old title: GENERAL MANAGER, DELAWARE BLUE COATS)
- Alex Rucker: senior VP of analytics and strategy (old title: VP, ANALYTICS & STRATEGY)
Cohen and Brand get the seemingly significant promotions while Rucker and Eversley just have “senior” added to the front of their titles. The press release explains that Brand will work with the Sixers first team while also doing his duties with the 87ers. Cohen will “oversee all facets of roster and salary cap management, among other leadership duties.”
Here’s the blurb on Eversley, who I’m told will spend more time in Philadelphia and less time on the road:
“In addition to his role overseeing player personnel and talent evaluation, Eversley will leverage his nearly two decades of experience in the industry to amplify the team’s recruiting and strategic decision-making processes. This includes an increased focus on all areas of pro personnel, as well as efforts to attract, acquire and retain elite NBA talent.:
The release also says that assistant coach Kevin Young, who led the summer league squad, will be moved to the bench to replace Jim O’Brien, who is going to be a senior advisor to Brett Brown instead. Monty Williams, who replaced Lloyd Pierce, will join Billy Lange on the bench as well. It’ll be Brown, Williams (lead assistant), Lange, and Young (no official title change) on the sidelines this season.
There’s not much else worth noting from the press release, but this quote from Josh Harris later in the Woj article jumps out at me:
“We have a skilled and stable staff who share the same vision under Brett,” Harris told ESPN. “We prefer to find someone, but we don’t want to feel forced into compromising.”
Compromising on what? That’s the second time the word is used in the article.
More from Harris:
“What I’ve learned is that GM job has got many facets and that it’s a learned skill. It’s certainly got a public facing nature to it, but management and very strong relationships are important – and very few people who are not sitting GMs have all of those components. We have strengths in all those areas around our front office right now.”
The Sixers continue to exclude the possibility of Brown holding onto the interim GM role for the long-term, even if he carries that title through the 2018-19 season. Brown signed a three-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season this spring.”
I don’t know. It doesn’t feel like a good idea to me. Whether or not Brett is actually doing GM duties or just having the final say on personnel decisions, it still benefits you to have an experienced executive with connections leading your front office. You had a bad experience with Sam Hinkie and Bryan Colangelo, I get that. I understand that you’re probably not itching to fill that role with just anybody, considering how the tenures of Hinkie and Colangelo ended. But those were two very unique situations and I think Harris feels a little wary now bringing in another guy just because he got burned a couple of times.
“Compromising,” I guess, suggests to me that he’s comfortable with Brown/Cohen/Eversley/Brand and doesn’t want someone to come in and claim autonomy on personnel decisions or disrupt what Harris sees as a cohesive and positive group. And he’s correct that there are very few superstar candidates out there, so why fill the role with just anybody? You want to make sure you get it right.
So I’ll take the official position of “neutral” on the Sixers general manager search. You don’t want to rush in and just grab some guy for the sake of filling the position, but I also think somebody like Gersson Rosas could push the franchise forward.