Kiki Vandeweghe

Latest On Sixers’ GM Search

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.

Community Shootaround: Sixers’ GM Job

Nine days after The Ringer published a fascinating report linking Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo to a handful of anonymous Twitter accounts that had seemingly revealed sensitive information about the franchise, Colangelo announced his resignation on Thursday, confirming that he and the club had agreed to part ways.

It was an extremely unusual way for a top executive to lose his job, but the upshot is that the Sixers have become the third NBA team this spring in the market for a new head of basketball operations. The Hornets hired Mitch Kupchak as their new GM and president of basketball ops, while the Pistons’ search remains active.

While Detroit’s list of candidates has included several executives who recently retired as NBA players and don’t have extensive front office experience, the early – and informal – list of options in Philadelphia looks a little heavier on former GMs and seasoned top lieutenants.

Former Cavaliers general manager David Griffin has been cited most frequently, viewed as an ideal fit not just due to his résumé in Cleveland, but due to his connection to a certain Cav — LeBron James figures to be the Sixers’ top target in free agency this summer, so bringing aboard a GM LeBron liked could boost the team’s chances of landing him.

League sources have also identified Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren as a top candidate for the 76ers, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Zarren has received consideration for several GM jobs over the years – including the Philadelphia gig before Sam Hinkie was hired in 2013 – but has always opted to remain in Boston. His track record suggests he won’t leave the C’s, but the Sixers, armed with a pair of potential franchise players, a top-10 pick, and significant cap room, would be an extremely appealing landing spot.

O’Connor indicates that Sixers vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley and VP of basketball operations Ned Cohen are two internal candidates that may receive consideration for the position, and says Kiki VanDeWeghe‘s name has been floated as a possible target too. A former GM, VanDeWeghe currently works in the league office.

Malik Rose, who is said to be receiving interest from the Pistons for their front office opening, is a Philadelphia native, which could make him an appealing target for the Sixers. If the team wants to dip into Houston’s front office again, Gersson Rosas would be a strong candidate. The 76ers’ list of candidates may grow even further, though it’s probably safe to assume that Hinke – the club’s previous hire from the Rockets – won’t be returning to Philadelphia, despite the wishes of many Sixers fans.

What do you think? Which GM candidate would you like to see replace Colangelo in Philadelphia? Which candidate do you believe the Sixers will ultimately hire?

Head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Latest On Pistons’ GM/Front Office Search

The Pistons continue to conduct separate searches for a new head coach and a new head of basketball operations, and while it’s possible they’ll hire a coach sooner rather than later, they prefer to address their front office opening first. That would allow the new head of basketball operations to have a say in the head coaching hire.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski provides an update on Detroit’s front office search today, reporting (via Twitter) that NBA executive VP of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, Grizzlies executive VP of player personnel Ed Stefanski, Rockets executive VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, and Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon are among the candidates the Pistons are eyeing to run their basketball operations department. Current GM Jeff Bower also remains a candidate to be promoted, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).

Most of those executives have received consideration for top front office jobs in the recent past. Rosas, for instance, was cited as a contender for the Hornets’ GM opening this spring. Stefanski was said to be in the mix for the Bucks’ GM vacancy last summer, while Langdon received consideration for the Hawks job around the same time.

In addition to considering those aforementioned candidates for their top basketball operations job, the Pistons are also targeting TNT analyst Brent Barry and Heat director of basketball development and analytics Shane Battier for front office roles, according to Wojnarowski.

Although Bower is currently running the Pistons’ basketball operations department, his contract is set to expire on June 30, so Detroit could end up making several new hires this spring. Should Bower depart, the Pistons may hire a new president of basketball operations, a new GM, and a new head coach.

And-Ones: Turner, Vandeweghe, Horford

Hawks big man Al Horford is entering the final season of his current deal and will be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. But Horford’s eye is on the coming season, and he won’t discuss his future until next summer, Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution relays.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The NBA officially announced today that Kiki Vandeweghe has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations for the league, a move that had seemed likely for months. He moves up from vice president of basketball ops and replaces the retiring Rod Thorn. Vandeweghe’s new position puts him in charge of player discipline, among other duties. “Kiki is one of the sharpest basketball minds in the NBA,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “In addition to his storied UCLA and NBA playing career plus his extensive experience as a general manager, coach, and TV analyst, he has most recently helped drive innovations in analytics that are reshaping the league in areas such as scheduling, game statistics, and player health.”
  • Myles Turner has transformed from an injured high school junior who was an afterthought to college recruiters into a candidate to start at center for the Pacers this season, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders details. This year’s No. 11 overall pick performed well at summer league, leading to some thought of him as a Rookie of the Year contender, but coach Frank Vogel has reminded the big man not to get carried away, as Turner tells Kennedy.
  • The Rockets have officially hired Matt Brase as the coach of Rio Grande Valley Vipers, their D-League affiliate, the team announced (via Twitter). Brase replaces former coach Nevada Smith, who spent two seasons with the Vipers and compiled an overall record of 60-46, including a mark of 27-23 last season.

Kings Reach Out To John Calipari

11:39am: The Kings deny Wojnarowski’s report, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

11:02am: Calipari, as he’s done in the past, took to Twitter to say that he’s not looking for another job and that the Kings haven’t offered him one. He acknowledged talking to Ranadive about Cousins and No. 6 overall pick Willie Cauley-Stein, but wrote in all capital letters, “I will be at Kentucky.” (All five Twitter links here).

10:16am: Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and other members of his ownership group have spoken with Kentucky coach John Calipari to feel out his interest in coaching the team and running its front office, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. It would require a multiyear contract worth at least $10MM a year to lure him, Wojnarowski adds, but Sacramento has had lawyers examine the contract of coach George Karl to see if he can be fired with cause for reportedly speaking to other teams to see if he can arrange DeMarcus Cousins a trade, as Wojnarowski details. It’s a long shot that the Kings would be able to terminate Karl in such a way that would allow them to recoup the nearly $10MM in guaranteed money left on his deal, which runs another three years.

Ranadive is going after Calipari in part to see if he can convince Cousins to change his mind about his desire to be traded to the Lakers, according to Wojnarowski, a desire that has reportedly come about amid Karl’s apparent quest to see him traded. Calipari coached Cousins during the center’s lone season at Kentucky.

Hiring Calipari would represent yet another shift for the Kings under Ranadive, who’ve already employed three coaches and two front office chiefs since he took control of the franchise two years ago. League officials and confidants of the owner have tried to prevail upon him to stop his frequent shakeups, sources tell Wojnarowski. Ranadive replaced former GM Pete D’Alessandro atop the front office structure this spring with vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac, but executives and agents grew frustrated in dealing with Divac at draft time, as the newly minted executive is unfamiliar with salary cap and collective bargaining agreement rules, Wojnarowski hears. Ranadive considered hiring NBA vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe to lead the front office before turning to Divac, Wojnarowski reports.

Calipari has consistently maintained he’s satisfied at Kentucky even as he continues to listen to overtures from the NBA. He had a level of interest in the Pelicans this spring, but New Orleans didn’t want him to lead its entire basketball operation, according to Wojnarowski.

Rod Thorn To Retire From League Office

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.

Pistons Considering Griffin, Zarren, Vandeweghe

With Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars’ announcement that he was “stepping aside”, the speculation as to who would take over his post began. The team intends to conduct a comprehensive search for their next GM, report Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today. According to the article, there are several names are on the Pistons’ radar.

The latest names to be mentioned in connection with Detroit are Cavaliers acting general manager David Griffin, Celtics assistant GM and team counsel Mike Zarren and NBA senior vice president of basketball operations Kiki Vandeweghe.

Other names connected with the search per the article, are Magic assistant GM Scott Perry, who is from Detroit and used to work for the team, Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk, and former Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo.

It was also reported earlier this week that Grant Hill, a former Pistons player who is now working for Turner Sports, is also a possibility for the post. The Pistons may also look into an arrangement similar to the one Doc Rivers has with the Clippers, the article notes. Rivers is both coach and senior vice president of basketball operations and works with vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks on personnel decisions.

The other wild card here could be former Pistons great Isiah Thomas, who was reported to be openly campaigning for the job, despite the team shooting down those rumors. There has also been talk that the team may want to hire Chauncey Billups for the front-office, but the exact role hasn’t been revealed.

Currently Pistons director of basketball operations Ken Catanella and assistant GM David George are preparing for the draft and free agency. They report to ownership executives Phil Norment and Bob Wentworth, both of whom are partners is Gores’ private equity investment firm, Platinum Equity, write Zillgitt and Amick.

Odds & Ends: LeBron, Raja Bell, Wall, Draft

Here are a few Wednesday afternoon odds and ends from around the Association:

  • Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com takes an extensive look at the decision that will face LeBron James, along with the teams that hope to sign him, in the summer of 2014. While Windhorst suggests that the Heat, Cavaliers, Lakers, and Bulls are among the clubs that could be in the mix for LeBron in '14, he stresses that the former MVP himself has yet to make any decisions about whether he'll even opt out of his contract with Miami.
  • If the Cavs hope to recruit James or any other major free agent in the summer of 2014, they'll need to put a more competitive product on the court in 2013/14, says Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
  • Despite not being playoff-eligible, Raja Bell has continued to search for an NBA job, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com (via Twitter). However, nothing has developed, and Bell appears likely to sit out the entire season.
  • John Wall continues to tell reporters that he feels he's worthy of a maximum contract, with Michael Lee of the Washington Post the latest scribe to get a quote from Wall on the subject. The Wizards point guard tells Lee he'd be disappointed if he can't work something out with the team before the 2013/14 season gets underway.
  • When we asked last night whether Wall deserves a max deal, the response was an overwhelming no. Lee's readers at the Washington Post agree, as their responses indicate.
  • ESPN.com's Chad Ford answers plenty of draft questions in his latest chat, noting that the situation at Kentucky will be very interesting to watch. Top recruit Julius Randle announced today that he'll become a Wildcat, and three current freshman suggested yesterday that they're leaning toward returning to Kentucky for their sophomore years.
  • The NBA has hired former Nuggets and Nets GM Kiki Vandeweghe as its vice president of basketball operations, the league announced today. Vandeweghe will report to executive VP of basketball ops Stu Jackson.

Latest On Clippers GM Search

While the Magic hired Rob Hennigan as their new GM this week, it appears the Clippers will head into the draft without someone to replace Neil Olshey, who jumped to fill the Blazers GM vacancy earlier this month. Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times says no hire is imminent and no candidate has gone before owner Donald Sterling. Team president Andy Roeser, coach Vinny Del Negro and director of player personnel Gary Sacks are jointly handling the draft and free agency until a GM is found. Roeser and Del Negro have had discussions about possible candidates, and Sacks is one of many names the Clippers are considering, according to three league executives who spoke with Turner. Let's break down the rest of the list:

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GM Updates: Sixers, Ferry, Griffin, Clippers, Magic

With just 10 days until the NBA draft, a couple teams are still seeking a general manager, and will be looking to get their new hire in place in time for the draft and free agency. Last we heard on the Clippers' search, former Nuggets and Nets GM Kiki Vandeweghe was considered the frontrunner. Meanwhile, Orlando has narrowed its search to three candidates, with the Magic considering Dennis Lindsey, Rob Hennigan, and Jeff Bower. Here's the latest on the league's GM hunts, with any new updates added to the top of the page throughout the day:

  • Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweets that Danny Ferry to the 76ers "looks close" and adds that David Griffin to the Clippers "has legs."

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