Storyline: Sixers Front Office

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Sixers giving Joel Embiid a contract extension?

Magic Johnson recently became the president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Do you see Magic succeeding in his new role and would you do something like that in the future? Julius Erving: “I think Magic is going to succeed because he’s succeeded at every level and has taken on every challenge that’s put in front of him and channel it. “It’s not the role for me. It’s just not. I had my time in basketball and now I kind of like having the freedom that I have…that role is one that locks you in.”

They would be in position to add a talented player capable of providing immediate and long-term help, should the Sixers keep the pick. “I think that should we move or if there’s a transaction that comes out that gives us a chance to perhaps increase what impact No. 3 can have in terms of its return, I think we will look at it,” Bryan Colangelo, the team’s president of basketball operation, said Monday. “There’s some discussions that have been fairly interesting.”

Signing capable free agents is the most direct route to more wins, and Colangelo said “ownership is committed to winning.” He reaffirmed his belief in Brett Brown and his son, and stated that the Sixers need to take things one step at a time right now — basically saying they need to “trust the process” without uttering the phrase. However, one sentence showed just how important of a time this is for the Sixers — free-agent signings, draft selections and trade possibilities included: “We’ve got a good hand, and now it’s important to play out the hand in the right way,” he said.

The 76ers chose not to renew the contract of Lance Pearson, their director of applied analytics. Pearson, who worked for the team the past four seasons, received the news at the conclusion of the season. “I want to thank the Philadelphia 76ers … players, coaches, staff, fans for one of the best times and learning experiences of my life,” Pearson tweeted. “I’ll always treasure the memories, friends and knowledge I’ve gained here and wish everyone the best.”

“I respect the fact that he thought so much out of the box, which he really did, in terms of being the analytical guy that he is,” Colangelo said. “And of course, people can look back on decisions that were made — good or bad — and most everyone’s track record is full of both and [they] come to their own conclusions. “Since the change in management, there’s much more of a defined game plan in terms of going forward, and that’s very positive, in my opinion, for the franchise. Sam left some good stuff in place, no question about that. Along the line there was a lot of pain in terms of incredible losing and that could only be sustained for a period of time. And I think in Philly’s case, I think he probably ran out of time.”

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the team has made several key additions to the analytics and strategy department, naming Andy Miller, Alex D’Amour and Alex Franks as Senior Researchers, and Grant Fiddyment and Michael Lai as Data Scientists. “We are very excited to add this level of intelligence, experience and innovation to our already deep analytics and strategy group,” Colangelo said. “Vice President Alex Rucker and Director Sergi Oliva did a great job identifying and securing the highest level candidates from a worldwide pool of talent as we address expansion plans of our current systems, processes and capabilities.”

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo announced today that the team has made several updates to the basketball operations department, including the promotion of Ned Cohen to Vice President of Basketball Operations and Chief of Staff, as well as a re-structured analytics department, which will be led by Vice President of Analytics and Strategy Alex Rucker, and supported by Director of Applied Analytics Dr. Lance Pearson and Sergi Oliva as Director of Basketball Analytics and Innovation.

On a podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports’ The Vertical, Bryan Colangelo finally confirmed what everyone had (correctly) assumed: Colangelo would have had final say. In fact, owernship’s initial reluctance to give Colangelo final say led to him turning down their first offer. “The first time that I met with David Blitzer and Josh Harris I basically told them I’m not the guy for this job,” Colangelo told Wojnarowski. “But a good month and a half passed and they called me back and said ‘We want to revisit, would you be interested?’ This time I said sure, I’ll listen, but I’m not sure things have changed. But their approach changed, and obviously that approach was something where I wouldn’t be coming in to work underneath Sam [Hinkie]. I was going to be coming in to be the lead in terms of basketball operations.”
1 year ago via SLAM

SLAM: From your perspective, how did it feel when Sam Hinkie stepped down as general manager? Robert Covington: It was a little sad. Sam was the one that gave me an opportunity, but we understood why. When he wrote that letter, it really meant a lot because it obviously lets you know the impact, you know, he doing something right. It was something different, but the team is very young, very athletic, but we have a great group of guys as far as a whole unit. The things that he has put into place, it put us in the position we’re at now. You got through rough times, but a lot of it can change over time.

“There has to be a level of understanding, a level of trust between teams,” one former GM says. “I think Sam had a hard time opening up in that process. If you are trying to win the deal each time, that’s fine, as long as the other side gets a win too. But if you are trying to kill them, then it makes it harder to work with them in the future.” Adds one Western Conference executive: “Sam’s a hard-nosed negotiator, which is intimidating to some people. There’s a bit of ‘what’s behind the curtain?’ with Sam. People don’t know what his factors are. It’s not as straightforward as ‘I like that guy.'”

But if Hinkie knew he was on his way out in March, he had an odd way of showing it. His words from those interviews now read as blindly prophetic, like those of a man pondering his own death without knowing that it was imminent. “So many of my friends will tell me, ‘Don’t do that. Don’t try that. It’s going to end poorly. They’ll run you out,'” Hinkie would later say. “And that’s the reason to do it, because fear has been the motivating factor for way too many people for way too long. There’s a huge agency problem in the whole business, particularly in my role: Keep the job.”

If Hinkie thought he could get by without addressing criticisms about him, it’s the same way, sources confirm, that he never anticipated his resignation letter becoming public. (Rumors continue to swirl over which member of a small group of recipients leaked the document.) The note was one of dozens he penned in his time with Philadelphia. The language was standard for an investor letter and typical of communication on Wall Street, the home turf of several Sixers owners, but also deeply idiosyncratic.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey defended his protégé, former 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie, during a recent appearance on Yahoo Sports’ “The Vertical” podcast hosted by Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski asked Morey for his perspective on Hinkie’s departure from the 76ers after team brass (and NBA officials) decided they had waited long enough for Hinkie to fix the team. Specifically, Wojnarowski asked Morey if he received criticism because Hinkie had become a pretty polarizing figure in the league and whether Morey was judged because of Hinkie’s struggles.

Eric Goldwein: Jerry Colangelo on his/Bryan’s hiring process. Basically says Bryan was plan from the start: Jerry Colangelo: “Well you know through the commissioner a call was set up between Josh Harris and myself and we had a very nice talk about their circumstances and I was asked to — they wanted to find out if I was available and willing to be of some help. And, um, although I kind of directed the inquiry more to Bryan than to me, because of his availability and his experience, etc. and my plate being as full as it was. It turned out that I came in as a consultant and had a little more responsibility than I thought I had. And nice the decision was made to bring in an experienced basketball person — and Bryan was a candidate — it was important to step aside and let that process take its course.” http://es.pn/1TZIlSr

The unpopular, non-trending, nuanced answer — the ice-cold take — is as follows: Both. “He did as good a teardown as you could possibly fathom,” an executive in the league told CBS Sports on Wednesday. “But it’s not that hard to tear down. To trade players for future picks and get a bunch of undrafted free agents and hope one sticks; that’s not that hard to do. So it’s OK to say [Hinkie] did a good job tearing down, but Bryan [Colangelo] is in a better position to build it up.”

Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo officially announced today that the team has hired Marc Eversley as Vice President of Player Personnel and Ned Cohen as Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff, while Brandon Williams has been promoted to Vice President of Basketball Administration. “I am very excited about the opportunity to bolster our front office through the addition of two eminently respected and seasoned professionals,” said Colangelo. “Marc’s distinguished eye for talent along with his ability to relate to and connect with players has set him apart in such an important sector of the industry. Ned’s overall knowledge of the league, his expertise on a wide range of topics, and his ability to manage high-level issues will be very beneficial to our management team.”

It’s something which Joshua Harris tried to fight against early last week, to little success, attempting to convince fans that Colangelo the Elder wasn’t involved in getting Colangelo the Younger a job within the organization he was chairman of, optics that Bryan Colangelo admitted on Breakfast on Broad almost caused him to turn down the opportunity. “I actually even said ‘This probably isn’t right for me’ initially,” Colangelo told Breakfast on Broad. “I almost removed myself from the process, to be honest. Once [Jerry] was out of the picture, then we moved forward on a clean basis and it felt good, I convinced myself that this was the right position because I was so excited about what this opportunity looked like.”

“Nothing really changed,” said Colangelo, who lives in Phoenix. “My role is still the same that I was originally asked to come in and do.” The Hall of Famer and four-time executive of the year was hired on Dec. 7 to be an adviser and mentor to the Sixers. The title of chairman was something the team added, so he went along with it. But in translation, [his role after Bryan’s hire] sounded differently, especially the stepping down kind of a thing,” Colangelo said. “I haven’t stepped down. I’m still walking on the same level, doing the same thing.”

“But in translation, [his role after Bryan’s hire] sounded differently, especially the stepping down kind of a thing,” Colangelo said. “I haven’t stepped down. I’m still walking on the same level, doing the same hing.” The only difference is that his son is the one calling the shots, having the last word. Bryan Colangelo flew to Philadelphia from Toronto on Wednesday. He is scheduled to travel attend the NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York on Thursday.

Yes, Colangelo said he’s looking forward to meeting with Brown and discussing a number of basketball topics with the Sixers’ three-year coach. But a league source noted Colangelo essentially cleaned house when he took over as Raptors general manager in 2006. Sam Mitchell stayed as coach until Colangelo fired him 17 games into the 2008-09 season. Mitchell was named NBA Coach of the Year and Colangelo earned NBA Executive of the Year honors in 2006-07. “I don’t think anybody survives, (except) maybe some low-level analytics people,” the source said. “I’m not sure the scouts make it.”

If Wednesday was any indication, Jerry Colangelo still has a key role with the 76ers. Colangelo dropped the title of chairman of basketball operations after his son, Bryan, was introduced as the team’s president of basketball operations on Sunday. But the elder Colangelo was with the team for the season finale against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. “Nothing really changed,” said Colangelo, who lives in Phoenix. “My role is still the same that I was originally asked to come in and do.”
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October 20, 2017 | 12:02 pm EDT Update
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In Livingston, the Warriors have found an ideal backup for Stephen Curry. Playing behind a two-time NBA MVP allows Livingston to keep his minutes manageable. On a team loaded with three-point shooters, his penchant for post-ups adds variety to head coach Steve Kerr’s movement-heavy system. Livingston’s diverse NBA experience makes him a worthy sounding board for younger players. “He’s one of my favorite people I’ve ever been around,” Kerr said. “He’s just got an incredible presence about him. He’s sharp, he’s wise, he’s competitive. But most of all, he just gets it.”
More than a decade has passed since Livingston became infamous on YouTube for one of the most gruesome knee injuries in the history of professional sports. Now an essential reserve for the defending NBA champion Warriors, he finds himself empathizing with Hayward, who will probably miss the rest of the season with a fractured left tibia. “It’s the not-knowing that’s the worst part,” Livingston said. “He doesn’t know how long it’s really going to take to come back. He doesn’t know if he’s going to be the same player. He doesn’t know. … And that fear of the unknown, it just brings you down. It casts a cloud over your future.”
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October 20, 2017 | 9:31 am EDT Update