2:18pm: Vandeweghe will likely hold the job next, Thorn also said to the gathered media, Beck notes (on Twitter).
2:05pm: Thorn has confirmed his retirement plans to reporters, including Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).
9:58am: NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn plans to retire in August, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The longtime league and team executive is in charge of day-to-day matters, including most player suspensions, for the NBA, a role to which he returned in 2013 after a 14-year run in the position that ended in 2000. NBA vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe is a strong candidate to replace the 73-year-old Thorn, Wojnarowski hears.
The news is no major surprise to the NBA, since the plan when Thorn rejoined the league office was for him to serve only two years while the NBA transitioned to someone who would fill the position for the long run, Wojnarowski reports. Still, Thorn will leave behind a lengthy legacy that includes time as a player, coach and, most prominently, an executive. Thorn was GM of the Bulls when they drafted Michael Jordan, Wojnarowski points out, and he later ran basketball operations for the Nets and the Sixers. Thorn was head coach of the Bulls for part of the 1981/82 season, and he was also a head coach in the ABA with the Spirits of St. Louis in 1975/76, a few years after he finished an eight-year NBA playing career.
Thorn’s most recent stop with a team was in Philadelphia, where he oversaw the team’s personnel moves as president and chief operating officer from 2010 to 2013. The club moved Tony DiLeo into the GM role in September 2012 as Thorn transitioned into more of a consultant for the team. Still, Thorn was at the controls in August 2012, when the Sixers pulled the trigger on their ill-fated acquisition of Andrew Bynum. Thorn nonetheless made plenty of moves that worked out during his time, earning Executive of the Year honors with the Nets in 2002 as that team made its first of back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals.
Sixers executive Rod Thorn will replace Stu Jackson as the NBA's executive VP of basketball operations, the league has announced. Jackson is stepping aside at the end of the month. Thorn's new title will be president of basketball operations, and presumably he'll take over Jackson's duties, which include handed out fines and suspensions.
Jackson has been looking for work within a team's front office for months, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who reports that he wasn't seen as part of the league's future once Adam Silver takes over as commissioner in February. Wojnarowski noted Jackson's pursuit of other jobs earlier this spring.
Thorn is leaving Philadelphia, where he'd been transitioning into more of an advisory role for the Sixers for the past year or so as the team's president of basketball ops. During the 1980s and '90s, he spent 14 years with the league in a similar role to the one he's taking on.
MONDAY, 3:21: Owner Josh Harris has made it official at a press conference this afternoon, announcing Hinkie's hiring as president of basketball operations and general manager.
FRIDAY, 11:06pm: Hinkie's hiring doesn't change Thorn's situation with the team, Thorn tells Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com (Twitter link). The veteran executive is transitioning into the role of a consultant for the Sixers. Moore also clarifies that Hinkie will choose the team's next head coach.
3:04pm: DiLeo will not return to the Sixers in any capacity, according to John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). DiLeo had been part of the Sixers' basketball operations department since the 1990/91 season.
2:53pm: According to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News, Hinkie will also be the Sixers' new president of basketball operations, and DiLeo is "out" (Twitter links). Cooney adds that Hinkie's contract is expected to be for three or four years (Twitter link).
An official announcement from the Sixers could come as soon as next week, tweets Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com.
2:35pm: The 76ers have reached an agreement with Rockets assistant GM Sam Hinkie on a deal that will make Hinkie the Sixers' new general manager, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
Tony DiLeo had previously been serving as the GM in Philadelphia, but his contract was set to expire next month, making his status going forward uncertain. DiLeo has been a longtime member of the Sixers' front office and had been working with ownership on the team's coaching search, so it's unclear whether he'll be parting ways with the club or simply transitioning into a new role. I wouldn't be surprised if he moved into the team president position previously held by Rod Thorn, but it appears as if Hinkie will be the final decision-maker in basketball operations.
Before the Sixers promoted DiLeo to GM last summer, the team conducted a search that included Hinkie. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the two sides re-opened discussions "very recently" (Twitter link).
2:56pm: The Sixers have officially announced DiLeo's promotion to general manager, tweets Michael Preston, the team's director of public relations.
9:27am: The 76ers will officially name vice president of basketball operations Tony DiLeo as the team's new general manager, reports NBA.com's David Aldridge (via Twitter). According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), Rod Thorn will remain as the Sixers' president for now, but will eventually be replaced by DiLeo. An official announcement for DiLeo's promotion is expected later today.
The Sixers had been searching for an eventual replacement for Thorn, who is expected to transition into a advisory role with the club, for much of the offseason. We heard last week that DiLeo had emerged as a leading candidate for the GM opening in Philadelphia. Former Trail Blazers assistant GM Tom Penn, Rockets exec Sam Hinkie, and former Hornets GM Jeff Bower were also believed to be in the running, with Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren having withdrawn his name from consideration last month. Philadelphia also reportedly made an unsuccessful run at Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri.
DiLeo has been a part of the Sixers' organization since the 1990/91 season, holding virtually every position with the team along the way, as Neil Hartman of CSNPhilly.com wrote last week. The longtime Philadelphia exec, who was considered for the Trail Blazers' and Clippers' GM openings this offseason, even briefly served as the Sixers' head coach in 2008/09. Of course, as ESPN.com's John Hollinger points out (via Twitter), the Sixers' current head coach, Doug Collins, essentially serves as the club's "de facto GM," and will remain heavily involved in basketball decisions.
Multiple reports have indicated Lou Williams will be opting out of the final year of his contract with the 76ers, though not necessarily to leave Philadelphia. Williams himself seemed to be laying the groundwork for such a decision yesterday, tweeting "Quick note. Opting out doesn't necessarily mean you're leaving. It's getting out of one contract to begin a new one." The Sixers will be faced with a number of free agent decisions besides Williams this summer, and Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News has updates on a few of those players and on the executives that will be making the roster moves….
- Williams and unrestricted free agent Spencer Hawes are both drawing interest from teams around the league and could command annual salaries of $7MM in free agency, says Cooney.
- The Sixers would like to keep Lavoy Allen, but Jodie Meeks, Sam Young, Tony Battie, and Craig Brackins will "almost certainly" not be returning to the team.
- The 76ers are currently interviewing potential replacements for president of basketball operations Rod Thorn, according to Cooney. Philadelphia has received permission to talk with a handful of execs around the league, and been turned down by a few others.
- Among the candidates to replace Thorn: the Spurs' Danny Ferry and Dennis Lindsey, Rick Sund of the Hawks, Troy Weaver of the Thunder, John Hammond of the Bucks, and former Hornets GM Jeff Bower.
- Thorn won't necessarily be replaced in the near future. He is entering the final year of his contract, and the process of finding and bringing in his replacement could take the entire year. According to Cooney's source, the team isn't trying to remove Thorn from his position, but is merely starting a process that could take a while to complete.
- According to Cooney, the Sixers had a potential deal involving Andre Iguodala in place a year ago, but ownership vetoed any move.
The Celtics took a 3-2 lead in their series with the Sixers tonight with a 101-85 victory in Game 5. There's plenty happening off the court for Atlantic Division teams as well, so let's dive in:
- The Knicks and interim coach Mike Woodson are nearing agreement on a long-term deal, writes Newsday's Al Iannazzone. The deal could become official in the next couple days.
- Sixers president Rod Thorn has no intention of retiring, as Tom Moore of phillyBurbs.com writes, denying a report to the contrary Sunday by the Philadelphia Inquirer that said coach Doug Collins would take over for Thorn, with assistant coach Michael Curry replacing Collins.
- The Nets held a minicamp for free agents who didn't play in the NBA this past season, headlined by 2006 No. 3 overall pick Adam Morrison, as Colin Stephenson of The Star-Ledger and Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv note. Morrison and others at the camp, like Al Thornton, Hilton Armstrong and Julian Wright could wind up on Brooklyn's summer league team and audition for an invitation to join the Nets in training camp.
- Deron Williams, who was at Nets facilities this weekend as the team worked out draft prospects, was present again during today's free agent minicamp, fueling speculation he'll re-sign with the team, as Zagoria chronicles.