Alex Rucker

Zanik, Rosas Receive Second Interviews For Sixers’ Post

Jazz assistant GM Justin Zanik and Rockets VP Gersson Rosas have earned second interviews for the Sixers’ GM opening, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets.

Philadelphia’s ownership group dined with Zanik on Sunday and will do the same with Rosas on Monday. The ownership group will also hold second interviews with internal candidates on Thursday and Friday, Pompey adds in another tweet. The news was confirmed by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Warriors assistant GM and director of player personnel Larry Harris was also recently interviewed for the vacancy, though there’s no indication if he’ll receive another interview.

Some of the internal candidates for the job who were reportedly interviewed this month include former Sixers player Elton Brand, Marc Eversley, Ned Cohen and Alex Rucker.

The organization has been operating without a GM since Bryan Colangelo departed in June amid charges of releasing sensitive information on Twitter.

The Sixers initially targeted big-name NBA GMs and presidents like Rockets GM Daryl Morey, but have since cast a wider net, focusing more on executives who would view the Philadelphia job as a promotion rather than a lateral move.

Sixers Add Four Names To GM Search

The Sixers are expanding the list of candidates for their vacant GM job and will interview four more prospects next week, tweets Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Former Sixers player Elton Brand is joined on the list by fellow team executives Marc Eversley, Ned Cohen and Alex Rucker.

Philadelphia began interviews for the opening this week after receiving permission to talk with Larry Harris of the Warriors, Gersson Rosas of the Rockets and Justin Zanik of the Jazz. The organization has been operating without a GM since Bryan Colangelo departed in June amid charges of releasing sensitive information on Twitter. Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas was scheduled to interview as well, but decided to decline the opportunity, Pompey adds (Twitter link).

Brand played for five teams in a 17-year NBA career, finishing up with the Sixers in 2016. He is vice president of basketball operations in Philadelphia and serves as GM for the Delaware Blue Coats, the organization’s G League affiliate. Cohen is the Sixers’ assistant GM, Eversley is senior VP of player personnel and Rucker is senior VP of analytics and strategy. All four were promoted to their current positions after Colangelo left.

Latest On Sixers’ GM Search, Front Office

11:40am: The Sixers have issued a press release officially announcing the promotions noted below.

11:17am: While the Sixers are identifying new general manager candidates to meet and interview, the team hasn’t ruled out the possibility of leaving its interim front office structure in place to start the 2018/19 season, managing partner Josh Harris tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“We prefer to find an elite talent who can lead us, but we aren’t going to compromise,” Harris said.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown has served as the team’s interim head of basketball operations since Bryan Colangelo‘s ouster in June, but several members of Philadelphia’s front office besides Brown have been very involved in personnel decisions during the offseason.

Those key voices include Ned Cohen, Marc Eversley, and Elton Brand, all of whom are receiving promotions, Wojnarowski reports. Cohen will become an assistant general manager, Eversley will be the senior VP of player personnel, and Brand will be named the VP of basketball operations. Alex Rucker will also receive a promotion, according to Wojnarowski, who says Rucker will become the 76ers’ senior VP of analytics and strategy.

According to Wojnarowski, after initially targeting top general managers around the NBA – such as Daryl Morey of the Rockets – the Sixers have been gathering information on up-and-coming candidates in recent weeks. In other words, the new pool of contenders figures to include execs who would be more readily willing to make the move to Philadelphia.

Reports have indicated that the Sixers aren’t necessarily looking for a new general manager who will make all the final decisions on his own, but rather a candidate who is willing to collaborate with those existing voices in the front office on personnel moves. While Harris would love to find that executive as soon as possible and doesn’t want Brown to hang onto the head of basketball operations title for the long term, he tells Wojnarowski that the club is very comfortable with the current management group.

“I think we have one of the best, if not the best, situation in the NBA – particularly for the leader of a front office,” Harris said. “We have great young players, lots of cap space and stable ownership willing to invest and spend in the team. We’re going to be patient and try to find the right person. The next year is going to be incredibly important for us, and we have a real desire to find the right person now – but if not, we are incredibly comfortable with the existing staff and we’ll move forward from there.”