The Sixers are staying in-house with their new general manager pick, as former NBA big man Elton Brand will receive a promotion to replace Bryan Colangelo. Although elevating an internal candidate may seem like a safe choice, it’s a risk for the 76ers, who are giving significant responsibility to an executive who retired as a player less than two years ago, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic and Tom Ziller of SBNation.com write. People within the organization have raved about Brand’s work ethic since he was hired, but he lacks the front office experience of virtually any other candidate the Sixers considered, Bodner notes.
Of course, Brand won’t be asked to make personnel decisions on his own, and it’s possible he won’t even have the final say on roster moves. The Sixers have talked extensively about their front office’s collaborative approach to key decisions, and as Sarah Todd of Philly.com observes, it remains to be seen what exactly the management power structure will look like. While relying on a collaborative process is fine, “collaborative won’t work forever,” according to Todd, who points out that someone will have to take responsibility for the team’s moves at some point — especially if those moves don’t pan out.
Here’s more out of Philadelphia:
- While Brand’s promotion may have come as a bit of a surprise, it was welcome news for multiple Sixers players, some of whom played with the former No. 1 pick, per Keith Pompey of Philly.com. “Since we were teammates, I have always been so impressed with EB’s work ethic and professionalism,” T.J. McConnell said. “I’m really happy for him, and I know he’ll carry those same traits into his new job.”
- Markelle Fultz remains the biggest X-factor on the 76ers’ roster entering the 2018/19 season, according to David Murphy of Philly.com, who suggests that the team could get a good idea in the coming months whether 2017’s top pick can still develop into a difference-making player.
- Monty Williams, who stepped away from coaching in 2016 after his wife Ingrid died from injuries suffered in a car accident, was hired as the Sixers’ lead assistant earlier this offseason and feels like he’s ready to return an NBA bench, as he tells Sarah Todd of Philly.com. “It’s a great time for me to get back to full-time coaching,” Williams said this week.” It was Brett [Brown], it was the team. I’ve played here before so I kind of know the culture of the city. Most importantly, my family was ready for me to get back into coaching.”