According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers have hired vice president of basketball operations Elton Brand to be their new general manager. The NBA insider also reported that the Sixers will have a press conference to officially introduce Brand as GM on Thursday.
In a corresponding move, Philadelphia is reportedly going to elevate Alex Rucker to executive vice president of basketball operations.
Brand was one of many candidates in the running for the team’s vacant general manager job. A couple of weeks ago, Shams Charania of the Athletic reported that the Sixers were going to interview internal candidates Brand, Marc Eversley, Alex Rucker, and Ned Cohen for the role.
All four front-office executives got promotions late last month within the organization.
In addition to the internal candidates, the Sixers also interviewed Larry Harris of the Golden State Warriors, Gerrson Rosas of the Houston Rockets, Justin Vanik of the Utah Jazz, and former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin.
It does not come as a surprise to see the Sixers stay in-house to fill the position. In August, Sixers managing partner Josh Harris spoke to ESPN about the mindset that they were going to take into interviews, which gave a glimpse into what they were looking for.
“For us, we need someone to add real value, which includes looking at young, up-and-coming basketball executives and non-traditional candidates,” he said.
“We’re going to have a pretty selective list. This is not going to be huge tournament. We’re going to talk to some people who aren’t sitting GMs who could add value to our situation.”
Harris also made it clear at that time that they did not have a problem with keeping the same front-office structure in place for the 2018-19 season. Fast forward to the middle of September and Harris kept everything intact.
Philadelphia wanted to keep a collaborative decision-making process, which they established this summer after the departure of embattled former general manager Bryan Colangelo.
Colangelo resigned in June after an investigation found that he was a part of sharing reckless and sensitive information about the team on Twitter. Head coach Brett Brown immediately stepped in as the team’s interim GM.
Now with Brand in the fold, the Sixers still should be able to achieve whatever goals they have not only this season but for the future. The former first overall pick of the 1999 NBA Draft spent 16 years in the NBA, including five with the Sixers.
In those five seasons with Philadelphia, Brand averaged 12.7 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game. After his playing days were over in 2016, Brand spent two years in Philly’s front office and became the GM of the Sixers’ G-League affiliate (Delaware Blue Coats) last season.
The 39-year-old Brand now has the dubious task of making the Sixers championship contenders over the next few seasons.
The Sixers were not major players in free agency this summer, but with the amount of cap space that they are expected to have next summer, he will have the chance to land a star player.