The Sixers are counting on new coach Doc Rivers to deliver more than just a better performance on the court, writes Jabari Young of CNBC. The organization’s ultimate goal is to build a new arena when its lease at the Wells Fargo Center expires in 2031. A proposal to build a new complex in the Penns Landing area of Philadelphia was rejected last month, so the team has begun exploring other sites.
Young notes that it takes about seven years to build a new facility, so the Sixers need to start thinking about funding, which could include tax money. Former NBA executive Andy Dolich told Young that everything gets easier if the team can win a title in the next few years, which would increase support in the community.
“And if you don’t have that going in, that’s dangerous,” Dolich said. “If you have that unity, now Doc and (general manager Elton Brand), more than (chief executive officer Scott O’Neil), they’ve got to deal with the chief product officer because what is most important is those feet on the court. The unity of those three has to translate to winning.”
Rivers’ mission is to create a culture that’s more conducive to success. A staff member from a rival team told Young that the Sixers lacked focus in road games and had a traveling party that was too large. He also called the front office “unorganized,” saying that there were too many executives without clearly defined roles.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Knicks should avoid any temptation to bring in Russell Westbrook and his sizable contract, argues Tommy Beer of Forbes. A report this week stated that New York might have interest if the Rockets look to trade Westbrook, but Beer believes it would be foolish to acquire a 31-year-old who will make $41.4MM, $44.2MM and $47.1MM over the next three years.
- Former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson is a believer in Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, according to a story from NetsDaily. Luwawu-Cabarrot began as a two-way player, but his role grew throughout the season. He started five of Brooklyn’s 12 games in Orlando and averaged 15.1 points while shooting 39.5% from 3-point range. “He’s got a great future and it’s really fun to watch a struggling guy end up winning in the NBA and securing a stable role, and making his mark in the league,” Atkinson said. “That’s what he did and I’m sure he’s going to have another great season next year and have a long career in this league.”
- Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston ranks the five Celtics players most likely to not return next season, with Semi Ojeleye topping the list.