Inquirer Story Has Nuggets on Elton Brand’s Decision Making Power, Possible Mike D’Antoni Hire

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat, featuring Jimmy Butler, went up 3-1 on the Boston Celtics last night and are now one win away from the NBA finals.

Your hometown Sixers seem to be far away from that goal, and they need to find a new coach and sort out their front office situation before even getting back to the hardwood.

Interesting nuggets in a story Keith Pompey penned Wednesday for the Inquirer, titled “How much say will Elton Brand have over Sixers’ decisions moving forward?”

Writes Keith:

Brand has been given credit publicly for most of the Sixers’ key decisions since he was named GM two years ago. But the owners and other front-office people have been more deeply involved than the team has admitted.

Still, he met with the team’s ownership on Monday to discuss a new contract, according to multiple sources. Sources added Brand was expecting to get a three- or four-year deal.

The 41-year-old did not respond to The Inquirer’s multiple inquiries about the meeting. But several sources believes he’s in line to get a contract due to being on the front line taking the hits for the organization.”

Something also happened after Monday’s meeting that would lead you to believe that Brand will remain in place. Word leaked that the Sixers were intent on adding front-office talent under him. That came after multiple league sources had said the team was inquiring about the possibility of hiring a president of basketball operations.

They could certainly use a front office figurehead with a different type of background, or unique experience. Brand is on the record saying that the collaboration involving him, Alex Rucker, Ned Cohen, Brett Brown, and ownership didn’t work out, so maybe you bring in a President and let them work directly with Brand, above the other two Colangelo leftovers. And the point about Brand “taking the hits” for the front office is a good one. Josh Harris didn’t even address Brett Brown’s firing a few weeks back. Typically an owner would speak to media after a coach is let go, but Elton handled that by himself.


Now, word is leaking out that Brand is pushing hard for the Sixers to hire D’Antoni and that Joel Embiid gave his blessing. In addition, there are reports that the Sixers will make trades if D’Antoni is hired. The expectation is that he’ll have a say in picking players for his freewheeling style of play.

D’Antoni doesn’t make any sense for this team, though, ironically, Brett Brown’s motion offense was built using a blend of San Antonio and D’Antoni concepts. He could try to replicate what the team did in 2017-2018, surrounding Embiid and Ben Simmons with a sniper (JJ Redick), a three and D wing (Robert Covington), and a stretch four (Dario Saric). That was the best offensive setup the Sixers had during Brown’s tenure, though they did have some defensive deficiencies when they reached the playoffs.

Otherwise, D’Antoni’s style of play would probably work best here if they kept Simmons and moved Embiid and/or Al Horford instead. It’s a lot to digest.

There’s a lot more in the story, so I’d suggest reading it here:

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