Rod Thorn

Wizards Notes: Beal, Thomas, Thorn, Tanking

Bradley Beal has an important financial decision to make, but the Wizards star insists that money won’t be the deciding factor, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. The front office gave Beal a $111MM extension offer more than two months ago. He hasn’t signed it and hasn’t made a decision on whether he wants to remain in Washington long term. At Media Day, he told reporters that the chance to be on a contender will matter more than the size of the deal.

“I can really retire today and be OK. … So, I want everybody to understand, it’s not the money,” Beal said. “It’s not the money factor here. It’s me. It’s, OK, what’s the direction the team’s going in? Are we gonna win? Is this what we want? We know that this is probably gonna be a development year. It’s gonna be one of those types of years. So, does Bradley Beal wanna be a part of that ultimately? And that’s something I have to ask myself and something I’m probably still not done asking myself. So, I’m gonna use all my time until I can.”

October 21 is the deadline for Beal to accept the current deal, but turning it down won’t signal the end of his time with the Wizards. He will be eligible for a longer, more lucrative deal as a free agent in 2021, and an All-NBA nod would qualify him for a super-max contract that could reach up to $250MM over five years.

There’s more from D.C. on the first day of camp:

  • A lot of contenders would like to find a way to add Beal this season, notes John Hollinger of The Athletic. The former Grizzlies executive writes that swapping newly signed D’Angelo Russell for Beal is a “dream scenario” for the Warriors. He mentions the Lakers, Raptors, Nuggets and Celtics as teams that would also be interested if Beal becomes available.
  • Isaiah Thomas is trying to laugh off his latest injury, a torn ligament in his left thumb that will force him to miss the entire preseason, according to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. It’s the latest in a series of physical mishaps for Thomas since his last All-Star appearance in 2016/17. “I was in there laughing because I’m like: ‘Damn. It’s always something,’” Thomas said. “But at the end of the day, this won’t break me. I’ve been through way worse.”
  • Rod Thorn, who has more than 40 years of experience as an NBA executive, will serve as a senior advisor to GM Tommy Sheppard, Buckner tweets.
  • With John Wall possibly out for the entire season and a roster filled with young players, the Wizards are in a perfect position to tank, observes Sean Deveney of Heavy. “Keeping (Wall) out, trying to see if you can find a diamond in the rough by playing a bunch of non-guaranteed (contract) guys, that’s the way they have to go,” a rival executive said. “It’s tanking, but you can’t blame them.”

Rod Thorn Expected To Join Wizards As Advisor

Hall-of-Fame NBA executive Rod Thorn is expected to join the Wizards soon in an advisory role, league sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

A former NBA player, Thorn began his post-playing career as a coach before shifting to management positions. He spent time as the Bulls’ general manager, the Nets’ GM, the Sixers’ president, and the league’s executive vice president (and later president) of basketball operations. Since 2015, Thorn has served as a special consultant to Bucks ownership.

It’s not clear how extensive Thorn’s responsibilities would be in his new position with the Wizards. The franchise has spent the last couple months reshaping its front office, with Tommy Sheppard taking over for Ernie Grunfeld as the club’s new head of basketball operations.

Former NFL executive Sashi Brown, ex-Clippers executive Johnny Rogers, and longtime NBA player Antawn Jamison are among Washington’s other recent front office additions.

Ray Allen, 12 Others Selected To 2018 Hall Of Fame Class

Two-time NBA champion and 10-time All-Star Ray Allen was among 13 names selected by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for enshrinement as part of the 2018 Hall of Fame Class.

In his 18-year career, Allen set the record for most three-point field goals made with 2,973 and is ranked sixth on the all-time free throw percentage list with an .894 mark. Allen, 42, was drafted by the Bucks fifth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and spent his first six-and-a-half seasons in Milwaukee. After a four-and-a-half year run with the then-Supersonics, Allen joined the Celtics, capturing his first of two NBA titles in 2008.

The University of Connecticut product joined the Heat for his final two seasons, capturing his second championship in 2013. Allen sank several clutch treys in Game 6 and Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, leading the Heat to the title.

As we relayed earlier this week, Jason KiddSteve Nash, Grant HillMaurice Cheeks, and Rod Thorn were selected to the Hall of Fame. You can read detailed descriptions of their careers from our February report of 13 finalists being selected for the Hall of Fame.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith,  four-time WNBA Champion Tina Thompson, long-time Maryland coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Dino Radja, Charlie Scott, Ora Mae Washington, and Rick Welts were also selected.

Bucks Plan ‘Broad Search’ For Next GM

The Bucks plan to examine numerous candidates for their newly open GM post, reports Marc Stein of

The team will conduct a “broad search” to find a replacement for John Hammond, who has taken over as the GM in Orlando. The effort will be led by veteran NBA executive Rod Thorn, who serves as a consultant to the Bucks.

Hammond had a year left on his contract in Milwaukee, but he was given permission to interview with the Magic earlier this month. Hammond’s hiring appeared inevitable once Orlando brought in his longtime colleague, Jeff Weltman, as its president of basketball operations.

Justin Zanik, Milwaukee’s assistant GM, will be among the candidates interviewed for the position and will receive strong consideration, a source told Stein. It has been reported in the past that Zanik was a GM-in-waiting who would take over once Hammond’s contract expired, but Stein states that the job was never promised to him

Hammond spent nine years as GM in Milwaukee, putting together a team that made four playoff appearances. His legacy will include drafting Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is on the verge of becoming one of the league’s best players.

The Bucks will be looking for a GM who can build on the young talent that Hammond assembled and produce a regular title contender.

Central Rumors: Granger, Rose, Bucks

Small forward Danny Granger will not join the Pistons for the start of training camp, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports. Granger, who was traded to Detroit from the Suns as part of the Marcus Morris deal, will remain in Arizona to continue knee rehab under a mutual agreement with Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy, Ellis continues. “I think it’s better for him and for us if he stays right there in Arizona and does his rehab and when he gets to a point that he’s ready to play and compete, then we will bring him in,” Van Gundy said during the team’s media day on Monday. Granger is one of 17 Detroit players with guaranteed contracts so he remains a waiver or trade candidate, Ellis adds.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings isn’t close to being game-ready, Ellis writes in the same notebook piece. Jennings, who tore his Achilles tendon in January, is limited to light shooting, jogging in the pool and weight-controlled treadmill work. “We’re hoping sometime in mid-October that he’s be able to start doing drill work out on the floor and then hopefully by mid-November he starts ramping up, actually getting in some five-on-five stuff,” Van Gundy said.
  • Derrick Rose made a splash during the Bulls’ media day, saying that he’s already looking toward his next foray into free agency, according to Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago (Twitter links). Rose, who is signed through the 2016/17 season, expects to remain in Chicago for the long term, Goodwill adds. “€œYou see the way all this money will be passed around in this league. My day [free agency] is coming,” Rose said. But while Rose prefers to stay with the Bulls, the notion of leaguewide increased salaries “makes one pause,” Sam Smith of tweets.
  • The Bucks hired longtime NBA executive Rod Thorn as a special consultant, the team announced Monday morning via press release. He will work closely with GM John Hammond, the release adds. Thorn most recently served as the NBA’€™s president of basketball operations, where he oversaw the league’s day-to-day business under commissioner Adam Silver.
  • The Cavaliers allowed the remaining $635,816 portion of their trade exception for Keith Bogans to expire on Sunday, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. Cleveland dealt Bogans to the Sixers last September and used part of the exception to acquire Timofey Mozgov in January.

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.

NBA To Replace Stu Jackson With Rod Thorn

Sixers executive Rod Thorn will replace Stu Jackson as the NBA's executive VP of basketball operations, the league has announced. Jackson is stepping aside at the end of the month. Thorn's new title will be president of basketball operations, and presumably he'll take over Jackson's duties, which include handed out fines and suspensions.

Jackson has been looking for work within a team's front office for months, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who reports that he wasn't seen as part of the league's future once Adam Silver takes over as commissioner in February. Wojnarowski noted Jackson's pursuit of other jobs earlier this spring.

Thorn is leaving Philadelphia, where he'd been transitioning into more of an advisory role for the Sixers for the past year or so as the team's president of basketball ops. During the 1980s and '90s, he spent 14 years with the league in a similar role to the one he's taking on.

Sixers Hire Sam Hinkie As GM

MONDAY, 3:21: Owner Josh Harris has made it official at a press conference this afternoon, announcing Hinkie's hiring as president of basketball operations and general manager.

FRIDAY, 11:06pm: Hinkie's hiring doesn't change Thorn's situation with the team, Thorn tells Tom Moore of (Twitter link). The veteran executive is transitioning into the role of a consultant for the Sixers. Moore also clarifies that Hinkie will choose the team's next head coach.

3:04pm: DiLeo will not return to the Sixers in any capacity, according to John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). DiLeo had been part of the Sixers' basketball operations department since the 1990/91 season.

2:53pm: According to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News, Hinkie will also be the Sixers' new president of basketball operations, and DiLeo is "out" (Twitter links). Cooney adds that Hinkie's contract is expected to be for three or four years (Twitter link).

An official announcement from the Sixers could come as soon as next week, tweets Tom Moore of

2:35pm: The 76ers have reached an agreement with Rockets assistant GM Sam Hinkie on a deal that will make Hinkie the Sixers' new general manager, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).

Tony DiLeo had previously been serving as the GM in Philadelphia, but his contract was set to expire next month, making his status going forward uncertain. DiLeo has been a longtime member of the Sixers' front office and had been working with ownership on the team's coaching search, so it's unclear whether he'll be parting ways with the club or simply transitioning into a new role. I wouldn't be surprised if he moved into the team president position previously held by Rod Thorn, but it appears as if Hinkie will be the final decision-maker in basketball operations.

Before the Sixers promoted DiLeo to GM last summer, the team conducted a search that included Hinkie. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the two sides re-opened discussions "very recently" (Twitter link).

Sixers Promote Tony DiLeo To GM

2:56pm: The Sixers have officially announced DiLeo's promotion to general manager, tweets Michael Preston, the team's director of public relations.

9:27am: The 76ers will officially name vice president of basketball operations Tony DiLeo as the team's new general manager, reports's David Aldridge (via Twitter). According to Ken Berger of (Twitter link), Rod Thorn will remain as the Sixers' president for now, but will eventually be replaced by DiLeo. An official announcement for DiLeo's promotion is expected later today.

The Sixers had been searching for an eventual replacement for Thorn, who is expected to transition into a advisory role with the club, for much of the offseason. We heard last week that DiLeo had emerged as a leading candidate for the GM opening in Philadelphia. Former Trail Blazers assistant GM Tom Penn, Rockets exec Sam Hinkie, and former Hornets GM Jeff Bower were also believed to be in the running, with Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren having withdrawn his name from consideration last month. Philadelphia also reportedly made an unsuccessful run at Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri.

DiLeo has been a part of the Sixers' organization since the 1990/91 season, holding virtually every position with the team along the way, as Neil Hartman of wrote last week. The longtime Philadelphia exec, who was considered for the Trail Blazers' and Clippers' GM openings this offseason, even briefly served as the Sixers' head coach in 2008/09. Of course, as's John Hollinger points out (via Twitter), the Sixers' current head coach, Doug Collins, essentially serves as the club's "de facto GM," and will remain heavily involved in basketball decisions.

Sixers Rumors: Williams, Hawes, Thorn, Iguodala

Multiple reports have indicated Lou Williams will be opting out of the final year of his contract with the 76ers, though not necessarily to leave Philadelphia. Williams himself seemed to be laying the groundwork for such a decision yesterday, tweeting "Quick note. Opting out doesn't necessarily mean you're leaving. It's getting out of one contract to begin a new one." The Sixers will be faced with a number of free agent decisions besides Williams this summer, and Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News has updates on a few of those players and on the executives that will be making the roster moves….

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