- The Sixers struck deals to hire NBA Associate VP of basketball operations Ned Cohen to a high-ranking basketball operations job and Wizards VP of Scouting Marc Eversley as vice president of player personnel, report The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt and The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears (All Twitter links). Cohen and Eversley will presumably report to president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo. Many around the league regard Cohen highly and see him as a future GM, Wojnarowski tweets. Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post previously reported the Sixers were interviewing Eversley, who worked under Colangelo on the Raptors.
- The Sixers own the first-rounders of the Heat (No. 24) and Thunder (No. 26) in this year’s NBA draft, and given their need for outside shooters, they should consider nabbing French shooting guard Isaia Cordinier, St. Joe’s small forward DeAndre Bembry or Michigan swingman Caris LeVert with those selections, opines Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine in his weekly mailbag.
Evan Turner may have to be patient if he wants to re-sign with the Celtics in free agency, but he told Chris Forsberg of ESPN that coach Brad Stevens would like to keep him in Boston. “Coach definitely said [he wants me back],” said Turner. “He said he’ll be pushing for me and everything like that. And that’s pretty much it. But there’s a lot of stuff that’s going on right now. I understand it. And I understand what’s going to occur, with the draft picks and the young guys trying to develop and trying to get a superstar, stuff like that. I definitely comprehend it.” The Celtics may like Turner, and the swingman would like to get a deal done quickly, but the team figures to have other priorities this summer as it tries to improve a roster that went 48-34 and was bounced by the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. Turner played a big part in Boston’s success, averaging 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 81 games. He said “money’s cool” in free agency, but he feels it’s more important to find playing time with a winning organization.
There’s more news out of Boston:
- The six-game loss to Atlanta showed that the Celtics need to raise their talent level, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Bontemps says president of basketball operations Danny Ainge has to shake up a roster of “ill-fitting pieces” around All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics own the Nets’ first-round pick, which is almost certain to fall in the top five, and they may have more than $50MM to spend once free agency starts July 1st. Bontemps expects the Celtics to chase every elite free agent on the market, adding that they have enough young talent and future picks to become trading partners if the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler or the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins becomes available.
- The Celtics will need some luck to have the offseason they are hoping for, contends Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Boston has eight picks in this year’s draft, but the position of Brooklyn’s choice will help shape the future of the franchise. The Celtics have a 15.6% chance of landing the top overall selection and a 46.9% shot at staying in the top three. Boston will target Kevin Durant in free agency, and Bontemps believes Ainge is eager to make a deal with his parcel of draft picks, citing his offer to Charlotte last year in hopes of drafting Justise Winslow. Boston reportedly made a similar offer to the Heat. The writer mentions Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor as another trade possibility.
- T.J. McConnell‘s contract with the Sixers is non-guaranteed for next year, and he wound up seeing less than 20 minutes per game after a revelatory start to the season, but he was a bright spot and has a fan in coach Brett Brown, notes Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly. “The thing that I respect most about him is that he epitomizes that quality that I think might be the No. 1 thing that we need: day-to-day guys, people that you know what you’re getting,” Brown said. “He’s steady, he’s stable, he’s personality, he’s tough, he brings that edge to a game, to a practice, to a locker room. I just respect him. That’s just how he’s wired.”
Much of the Sixers‘ offseason strategy depends on where the team’s picks end up after the draft lottery is held next month, but the franchise believes it has the opportunity to land a steal near the bottom of the first round, writes Jessica Camerato of CSN Philly. “We’ve got multiple options with what to do with those picks, and I do think though there will be some opportunity to find a player,” GM Bryan Colangelo said. “That’s what you have an extensive scouting staff for, that’s what the numbers and analytics team can sometimes derive, perhaps a diamond in the rough. You look for the player that’s going to be a sleeper at that number and you think about what that player might be a couple years down the road.”
- Marc Eversley, who is currently the Wizards‘ VP of scouting, interviewed with the Sixers this week for a post that would make him GM Bryan Colangelo‘s second in command, relays Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post (via Twitter).
New Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo indicated that he is unlikely to make dramatic changes to the team’s front office personnel this summer, Derek Bodner of Philadelphia magazine relays. “It’s important to point out that I didn’t come in here with the notion that I was just going to torch the place and start anew,” Colangelo told Bodner. “There’s a lot of smart people here, even to the point where it’s fully in line with some of the thinking that I’ve already been migrating towards over the last several years. The team that’s here now, for all intents and purposes, more or less will be the same.” The executive did provide himself a little wiggle room on his statement, adding that the team is still “evaluating what’s here, and discussing the roles and responsibilities,” Bodner notes.
- Much of the Sixers‘ offseason plans will rely on luck, something that hasn’t been on the franchise’s side the past few seasons, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia has already had some negative luck this offseason, with the 2016 first-rounder the team is owed from the Heat slipping from a possible No. 21 overall down to No. 24 due to tiebreakers not going its way, Pompey notes.