After working their way through the NBA draft and the first wave of 2018 free agency without a general manager, the Sixers figure to shift their focus to filling that open front office position in the coming weeks. However, principal owner Josh Harris cautions that the search may not be completed quickly, as Keith Pompey of Philly.com details.
“I think it’s going to take a while to find the right person,” Harris said on Monday. “I hate to keep talking about it, but we really need to find the right person who can develop the special culture. It’s very consensus-oriented.
As Pompey explains, the Sixers want to take a collaborative approach to key personnel and roster decisions, meaning any serious candidate for the GM opening will have to be willing to surrender total power on those decisions. The team’s goal is to find a candidate that will mesh with head coach Brett Brown, vice president of basketball operations Ned Cohen, and other front office executives like Alex Rucker and Sergi Oliva.
“Certainly there are other ways to do it, where there’s a big, strong leader,” Harris said. “He or she makes every decision, and there’s many roads to run. That’s just not the road we are going to take.”
The Sixers’ reluctance to give total decision-making control to their next GM may turn off some top candidates, but Pompey still identifies a handful of noteworthy names receiving consideration. Multiple sources tell Pompey that former Nets and Nuggets GM Kiki VanDeWeghe has expressed interest in the job. Spurs GM R.C. Buford has also been cited as a possible target, according to Pompey, who notes that it would be difficult to lure Buford out of San Antonio. Of the Sixers’ internal candidates, Cohen probably has the best case, Pompey adds.
Harris suggested that the Sixers would like to hire a general manager who has previous GM experience, adding that a proven “track record” is a plus, though he acknowledged that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker.
Philadelphia has been on the lookout for a new general manager since a scandal involving multiple burner Twitter accounts ultimately led to Bryan Colangelo‘s ouster. Brown is serving as the team’s interim GM.