Marc Eversley

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.”

Sixers Notes: Fultz, Smith Trade, GM Candidate

The Sixers’ decision to draft two guards in the first round could mean Markelle Fultz won’t be part of the future in Philadelphia, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The team acquired swingman Zhaire Smith in a trade with the Suns and took point guard Landry Shamet at No. 26, but coach Brett Brown said the selections have nothing to do with Fultz and the difficulties he encountered during his rookie year.

After being the first player taken in the 2017 draft, Fultz missed much of the season with a shoulder injury and an unexplained problem with his shooting motion. Fultz is still limited to “foundational-type” shooting drills, according to Pompey, and probably won’t join the Sixers for summer league.

The front office insists it isn’t trying to trade Fultz, but Pompey cites a report of internal discussions about moving him, along with the two first-rounders, in an effort to obtain a top five pick. Several league sources also say Fultz was available for a deal, but his performance as a rookie makes it difficult to get anything of value in return.

There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:

  • Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated offers an inside look at the draft night deal that sent Smith to Philadelphia and Mikal Bridges to Phoenix. The Sixers turned down several offers from the Suns prior to the deal coming together just before Phoenix made its selection at No. 16. Bridges had a private workout in Philadelphia and Smith participated in two group workouts, and the Sixers considered them “1A” and “1B” as prospects who might be available with the 10th pick. When Smith fell all the way to 16th, Philly reconsidered, seeing an opportunity to stock up on future picks.
  • Brown would like to see the Sixers hire someone already in the organization as the next GM, Pompey writes in a separate story. The top internal candidate is believed to be Marc Eversley, who serves as vice president of player personnel. “I don’t think we need an overhaul,” Brown said. “We’re in deep on this. We have ways we do business. So somewhere out there, we’ll find the balance of those things that I said, and I’m sure that I’ll have a voice in the selection of the next general manager.”
  • Brown compares Smith to Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, another player who was traded on draft night, Pompey notes in another piece. Leonard is Smith’s favorite player and could wind up being a teammate if the cards fall right for the Sixers. “I think somebody said we have the same shooting mechanics,” Smith said. “So I try to do whatever move he does to get his shot off. I try to learn that.”

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!

Sixers Ownership Met To Discuss Colangelo’s Future

The Sixers‘ ownership group convened in New York on Tuesday evening, talking for several hours about whether head of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo should be fired based on the findings in an investigation into several burner Twitter accounts, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Wojnarowski, the 76ers could reach a decision on Wednesday.

As Wojnarowski has previously reported, the investigation into those Twitter accounts, which published tweets critical of Sixers players and revealed sensitive information, has increasingly focused on Colangelo’s wife Barbara.

Both Colangelo and his wife were interviewed by investigators for several hours on Sunday and Monday. While those interviews took place separately, Sixers ownership is struggling to separate Colangelo from his wife when it comes to the tweets in question, if she did in fact post them, Wojnarowski writes.

With Colangelo’s future up in the air, the Sixers are looking ahead to next month’s free agent period with the intent of putting Brett Brown “front and center” in presentations to top players, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that the hiring of Monty Williams as Brown’s top assistant could have an impact on discussions with free agents too. Both Brown and Williams have strong reputations with players around the NBA.

The 76ers could also rely on assistant GMs Marc Eversley and Ned Cohen to help navigate the coming offseason if they decide to move on from Colangelo, Woj observes.

Hornets Expand Search For New GM

The Hornets are expanding their search for a new GM even though former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak remains a leading candidate, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.

The Hornets are looking to replace Rich Cho after announcing last month they wouldn’t extend his contract.

The club has received permission to interview Sixers VP of Player Personnel Marc Eversley, Rockets Executive VP of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas and Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, league sources told Wojnarowski.

However, Kupchak’s longstanding relationship with owner Michael Jordan could still tip the scales in his favor, Wojnarowski adds. The Lakers replaced Kupchak with Magic Johnson last season.

Assistant GM Buzz Peterson is currently running the day-to-day operations for the Hornets and is expected to remain with the organization once a new GM is hired. Charlotte hopes to fill the position by the end of the regular season, Wojnarowski adds.

Eastern Notes: Fournier, Sixers, Nets, Wall

The Pistons targeted another Magic player before settling on the trade for Tobias Harris in February, and that player was likely Evan Fournier, as Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes in a slideshow of mostly far-fetched candidates to sign with the Pistons in free agency. Fournier is poised to become a restricted free agent in July, but Magic GM Rob Hennigan, who can match all competing bids for the swingman, expressed determination to keep him, and Fournier apparently wants to stay in Orlando.

See more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Sixers struck deals to hire NBA Associate VP of basketball operations Ned Cohen to a high-ranking basketball operations job and Wizards VP of Scouting Marc Eversley as vice president of player personnel, report The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt and The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears (All Twitter links). Cohen and Eversley will presumably report to president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo. Many around the league regard Cohen highly and see him as a future GM, Wojnarowski tweets. Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post previously reported the Sixers were interviewing Eversley, who worked under Colangelo on the Raptors.
  • The Nets have added several to their front office, including former No. 5 overall draft pick Shelden Williams, who’ll serve as a pro scout, and U.S. circuit court law clerk Natalie Jay, who’ll work as a cap and contract specialist, as the team details via press release. Spurs staffer Andrew Baker joins the Nets as strategic planning coordinator and Stanford assistant coach Charles Payne will be a pro and college scout for Brooklyn, the team announced. The Nets also said they promoted Ryan Gisriel to director of basketball administration. Gisriel has served the team as an intern, special projects coordinator and as assistant to the GM since his hiring in 2013.
  • John Wall has undergone procedures on both knees, but he’s expected to be ready for the start of next season, the Wizards announced.

And-Ones: D’Antoni, Eversley, Walton

Former NBA player Nate Robinson, when asked who was the worst coach he had played for in the NBA, had some unkind words for Mike D’Antoni, who coached the diminutive guard when both were with the Knicks, international journalist David Pick relays. “Mike D’Antoni was a cool coach, but he was just a bad person,” Robinson told Pick. “He can coach. He was just mean for no reason. He had no reason to be a certain way toward players he liked and didn’t like. As a man, you would talk to somebody if you had a problem with them. You would tell them. He never told me exactly what his problem was with me. I didn’t know how to change it. I’d talk to him every day, but he would ignore me. It was crazy.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Lakers have asked for and been granted permission to interview Warriors assistant Luke Walton for their vacant coaching post, reports Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (on Twitter). Golden State’s allowance for Los Angeles to speak with Walton did come with the caveat that it occur when the team is between playoff series, Spears adds.
  • Marc Eversley, who is currently the Wizards‘ VP of scouting, interviewed with the Sixers this week for a post that would make him GM Bryan Colangelo‘s second in command, relays Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post (via Twitter).
  • Heat power forward Chris Bosh, who hasn’t played since February 9th because of concerns about reported blood clots in his left calf, is lobbying for the team to activate him so he can contribute in the playoffs, The Toronto Sun relays via the Sports Xchange. Bosh’s wife, Adrienne, even took to Twitter with the message #BringBoshBack, but the organization still maintains its stance that the veteran is out indefinitely, according to the post.
  • LSU freshman shooting guard Antonio Blakeney won’t be testing the draft waters this season despite his name appearing on the league’s official early entrants list, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com relays (Twitter links). “Just a case of formality of the paperwork not reaching the NBA office prior to the preparation of the list,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said of Blakeney’s inclusion among the draft entrants, Goodman notes.

Eastern Notes: Wilkins, Smith, Heat, Wizards

A pair of Eastern Conference teams have reached agreements with free agents today, as the Sixers worked to finalize a deal for Darius Morris, while the Bulls signed a pair of players – Patrick Christopher and Kalin Lucas – for camp. Here's more from around the East:

  • Free agent forward Damien Wilkins has been working out for the Hawks in Atlanta, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com. The 33-year-old, who has played for the Hawks, Pistons, and Sixers in the last three seasons, also worked out for the Spurs last week, says Charania. No deal is imminent, but the Hawks appear to have some interest.
  • Two months after he officially signed his deal with the Pistons, Josh Smith tells Keith Langlois of Pistons.com that he feels great about choosing Detroit. "Our team, our roster, is very impressive to me," Smith said. "Everybody wants to get better and everybody wants to do it together. Whenever you are able to be a part of something like that, it’s special."
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel is surprised the Heat would bring back a player like Michael Beasley, who "didn't exactly do things the Heat way," and that the team may give him minutes over guys like James Jones and Rashard Lewis, who have "toed every Heat line."
  • Although Mike James has played for several NBA teams since 2009, this will be the first time since then he has participated in training camp, writes Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside. James reportedly agreed to a camp deal with the Bulls.
  • The Wizards have hired former Raptors executive Marc Eversley as vice president of scouting, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).