Bryan Colangelo, who was introduced today as the Sixers‘ new president of basketball operations, defended the controversial “process” championed by his predecessor, Sam Hinkie, writes Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I do think it has been a success, because we’re at a jumping-off point now,” Colangelo said. “The organization is poised to take a major leap forward because of what has transpired over these last few years of what I’m going to call a measured rebuilding process.” Brookover isn’t a fan of Philadelphia’s complimentary players, but says the franchise has three valuable pieces in Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid, along with three or possibly four first-rounders in this year’s draft. He believes Hinkie was a poor communicator and claims the Sixers are in better hands now that Colangelo is in charge.
There’s more news from the Eastern Conference:
- The Sixers are eager to move past the avalanche of losing that has marked the past three seasons, according to Brian Seltzer of NBA.com. Philadelphia has sunk to a league-worst 10-70 this season after going 18-64 last year and 19-63 in 2013/14, all while Hinkie tried to stockpile draft picks and young players. “It’s been a tough three years,” co-managing owner Joshua Harris said at a press conference this afternoon. “I think we’ve been very honest with the city and the fans. I think the fans have been very patient with us. It’s not easy to build a winner. It’s not easy to build an elite team. Now it’s time to move to the next phase.”
- Joe Johnson would have been a valuable addition to a Cavaliers team that is weak at the backup wing position, contends Jeff Kasler of AmicoHoops. Cleveland was considered an early favorite to land Johnson as he was negotiating his buyout with the Nets, but Johnson opted for Miami because he prefers the Heat’s up-tempo offense. Kasler says Johnson would have given the Cavs quality minutes that Richard Jefferson and Iman Shumpert aren’t providing and would have allowed more rest time for LeBron James in the postseason.
- New Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler is planning a major upgrade to Phillips Arena, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Journal Constitution. Ressler, who bought the team nine months ago, claims Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told him the city could finance about half of a planned $200MM to $300MM project. The work is projected to begin in the summer of 2017 and be completed in 2018.