Since taking over as the Sixers‘ general manager during the 2018 offseason, first-time GM Elton Brand has taken a pair of huge swings, completing separate trades for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. The team’s aggressive approach to collecting talent stands in stark contrast to the slow, deliberate “Process” of the last few years, but as Michael Lee of The Athletic writes, the 76ers believe the time is right to start going all-in in search of a title.
“I think our window is now,” principal owner Josh Harris said. “I hope that we’re a championship contending team. What we’ve said is that we want to advance further in the playoffs, for sure and we’re going to try our hardest to be a championship contending team this year. Obviously, that’s what everybody wants to do, but I think we’re positioned with enough talent to do that.”
While those blockbuster trade represented a new approach to roster-building for the Sixers, they didn’t necessarily come as a huge surprise, since Brand has talked throughout his tenure about the club’s window opening due to the rapid growth of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
“Our opportunity is now,” Brand said, per Lee. “Who knows how long this window is going to be open?”
Here’s more on the Sixers:
- Tobias Harris has fit in nicely with the Sixers through his first few games in Philadelphia, and spoke about his smooth transition, as Lee relays in the piece linked above: “I’m pretty smart. I pretty much knew a lot of what they ran before getting here. I just look forward to being a sponge, soak everything and get as much info as possible. It’s the same approach, but also, getting your mind right helping a team, being able to do something that they’ve been wanting to do for some time now. So it’s expectations, but you’ve got to keep working everyday and build towards that.”
- After sharply criticizing the officiating in Tuesday’s game against Boston, Joel Embiid was hit with a $25K fine on Wednesday, the league announced (link via ESPN.com). Embiid concluded his post-game podium appearance on Tuesday night by declaring, “The referees f—ing suck,” an apparent reference to a play in the final minute when he was hit across the arm by Al Horford and no foul was called.
- Rookie guard Shake Milton, who is on a two-way contract with the 76ers, underwent surgery this week to repair a fracture in his right hand, the club announced in a press release. Milton has only appeared in 13 games so far for Philadelphia this season, so his absence won’t impact the team’s rotation. He’ll be re-evaluated in about two or three weeks.