Tony DiLeo Rumors
Q: You don’t have an assistant GM, and longtime NBA guys like Doug Collins and Rod Thorn and Tony DiLeo are now gone. Before you hired Brett Brown, who are some of the people who were helping with personnel decisions? A: We have a talented staff that’s been working real hard, behind the scenes, that people don’t see. Courtney Witte is our director of player personnel and we have scouts and we are taking note of things we’ve done personnel-wise. We will continue to look for organization people and we want ones that make good decisions.
The Denver Nuggets have recently had serious discussions with former general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers Tony DiLeo regarding their GM vacancy, a source close to the situation conveyed to CSNNW.com. According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the GM search, says DiLeo is steadfast on a return to management and the source added Nuggets President Josh Kroenke has been pleased with how talks have gone and he considers DiLeo to be a serious candidate.
However, Brown said he does not rule out the role of analytics in building a better basketball team. “All the information, I’m sure, helps,” Brown said. “But at the end of the day, this is a basketball town. They love kids that play hard, play together, play smart. And the best way to tell that about a kid is to look him in the eye in the most crucial moments of a game. That tells you so much. “But you have to give this a chance,” added Brown, who expressed disappointment that former GM Tony DiLeo was let go. “But the Sixers’ new owners have put a lot of money into this program, so you’ve got to give it a chance. Hopefully it will work out because this is a great basketball community.”
To the surprise of some rival executives, the Sixers’ coaching search is being spearheaded by GM Tony DiLeo, whose contract expires this summer. With team president Rod Thorn moving into a consulting role and DiLeo’s contract expiring, rival execs expect the Sixers to engage in a search for a new head of basketball operations, as well. In fact, that process has already begun through back-channel conversations, one person contacted on the Sixers’ behalf told CBSSports.com.
The names will continue to be floated out there as to whom the 76ers are going to interview for their vacant coaching position, many of the names listed here in the Daily News a couple of weeks ago. But the main priority right now is to solidify the front office, whether it is keeping who is there (such as general manager Tony DiLeo) or cleaning house. As majority owner Josh Harris said the day after the end of the season, “Everything is on the table.” And right now the main dish on the table is the front office, with the coaching decision a side dish.
Majority owner Josh Harris made it a point to say that he and general manger Tony DiLeo would be the driving forces behind the team’s search for Doug Collins’ replacement. However, DiLeo’s contract expires in less than two months, most likely long after Collins’ replacement has been named. This is interesting because if DiLeo does not receive and extension from the team, the new general manager could come into a situation where the coach is not his guy. This is never a good place to start. The general manager should always have some say in the naming of the coach. The coach is supposed to be his guy, especially if he is naming his first coach.
With the resignation of Doug Collins as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, associate Michael Curry will interview for the franchise’s vacancy while eyeing job openings around the NBA, Curry told RealGM on Thursday afternoon. Curry discussed the 76ers’ coaching position with general manager Tony DiLeo on Thursday and will continue his duties into the offseason as part of the staff. DiLeo has already begun compiling a list of candidates and Curry is poised to be among them to receive a formal interview.
Building around Bynum remains the team’s preferred option, if he’s healthy. “He is Plan A,” DiLeo said Sunday before the Sixers played the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center, speaking publicly for the first time since Bynum announced a setback in his rehab from what could be career-threatening knee injuries on Friday. “Until we get the answers, until we make a decision, whether like you’re saying it’s a calculated decision or a risk management decision, that’s something we’ll have to make at the end of the year, going into free agency, and that’s something he also has [to figure out],” DiLeo said. “He’s unrestricted, he can go anywhere he wants to and it’s his career. And he’s only 25 years old. That’s just something we’ll have to see. We just don’t have all the information now.”
Philadelphia 76ers general manager Tony DiLeo said that Andrew Bynum is considering arthroscopic surgery on his balky knees and that the organization has yet to decide whether to attempt to sign the one-time All-Star center once he becomes a free agent after this season. Arthroscopic surgery to clean the loose cartilage out of Bynum’s knees would ensure he does not play for the Sixers this season. Philadelphia entered Sunday night’s contest trailing Milwaukee by 5½ games for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with 25 games to play.
Or then again, maybe not. The Sixers have a decision to make on Bynum this summer, and Bynum has a decision to make on the Sixers. It simply isn’t a matter of the Sixers making the best offer to the game-changing center. “We have Plan A and I think everyone knows what A stands for. And we have Plan B and we don’t know,” general manager Tony DiLeo said on Friday morning at the Sixers’ workout site at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. “If and when we get our complete team on the floor, then we can get some answers. We want to evaluate all of our players and in the summer make some decisions. We have some flexibility, we have a lot of free agents, we have a lot of good, young players and an All-Star point guard that we can build around. We have a lot of options and a lot of different ways we can go this summer.”
It’s not hard to believe general manager Tony DiLeo when he reiterates that the 76ers will not be making any moves before the Feb. 21 trade deadline that will in any way hinder the future of the organization. That means: Don’t expect the Sixers to really do anything, as the big decision in their near future still surrounds the aching knees of Andrew Bynum. “I’ve talked with everyone throughout the league – made the phone calls, taken the phone calls,” DiLeo said. “As I’ve said, we are not going to jeopardize our future to try to find something to help us short-term. We are looking to the future. We listen to what everyone proposes, and we propose some things, too. Things will probably heat up the closer you get to the deadline, they always do. We’ll just have to see what happens.
DiLeo said before Wednesday’s game against Indiana that the Sixers would explore all trade possibilities before the deadline, but they still believe that this roster, when healthy, can be a good one. “Right now the mind-set is we want to see what the roster looks like with Andrew out there and healthy,” DiLeo said. “We still have lots of questions to answer, but we want to see the team we envisioned having out there. We’re curious how well this team will function together, the players with Andrew and Andrew with the players, heading into the summer.”
“We have a lot of questions that we want to answer and they still aren’t answered,” DiLeo said. “We have to be patient and try to get some answers. But for the future, we feel we’re in good position, we feel we have a lot of options, so we’ll just try to answer those questions and move on. We built this team and we want to see this team on the court [with Bynum] and see how we can play with this team. On the other hand, if there is an opportunity that arises that we think can improve our team, then we’ll do that. But we don’t want to jeopardize anything for the future.”
Sixers GM Tony DiLeo said Friday that he 76ers’ plan is to try and stay in playoff contention until injured center Andrew Bynum can play, which could theoretically be as soon as mid- to late February if he has no more setbacks with his knees. In the meantime, DiLeo claimed the Sixers won’t hesitate to make a move prior to the Feb. 21 trade deadline (“we will explore all possibilities”) if it makes them better in the short term and also doesn’t cut into the salary-cap space they could have available next summer. “We have a lot of questions,” DiLeo told reporters after the team’s optional practice. “We just have to wait and be patient and try to get some answers. We want to see how Andrew fits in and how our players fit in with him.”
The Sixers are getting close to hiring a director of analytics, according to the team’s managing owner, Joshua Harris. “We are in final negotiations with a candidate,” Harris said. “We think we are going to get something done there in the next month.” Harris became convinced that that adding an “analytical mind” to the Sixers’ personnel department was a good idea about midway through last season, his first as the team’s managing owner. There was some thought that the Sixers would pursue a person with this type of background for the general manager’s position. However, Harris opted to go with Tony DiLeo, a player personnel evaluator with a long history with the Sixers. “You have to understand that we have many tools in our toolbox,” Harris said. “We want to give our front office every opportunity to be as competitive as possible and to use everything at their disposal to make this organization one of the finest, and analytics is a part of that. I look at it as a tool in our tool box that needs to be sharpened.”
General manager Tony DiLeo could not comment on the status of negotiations between the team and Holiday’s agent. However, a source says the two sides have been in contact about an extension.
New Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo confirmed that star center Andrew Bynum returned to the U.S. last week after receiving a plasma therapy injection in Germany. DiLeo said at his introductory news conference Monday that Bynum told the Sixers “he feels very good” and will be ready for next Tuesday’s start of training camp at Saint Joseph’s University.
So far, DiLeo and his front office have to be very pleased with the result of their plan, but they know that the most difficult aspect of it will be making the jump from playoff team to contender. “This year will be a little bit of a transition year,” said DiLeo. “Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner will have much larger roles (than they did last season) and we have a lot of new players we’re excited to see. We’re looking to answer a lot of questions this year and begin to put things together (once we find those answers).”
In his 22 years as a member of the 76ers organization, Tony DiLeo has held just about every position there is within the team’s front office. Entering the 2012-13 season with a new role – that of General Manager – the Cinnaminson native has reached the pinnacle of his field. Working in a profession in which only 30 individuals at any given time can make that claim, the promotion is a major accomplishment for the longtime talent evaluator. What makes it even more impressive is that he has never had to part ways with the team with which he began his NBA career – his hometown Sixers. “I’ve held every position in the organization, so there’s no place else to go,” DiLeo said with a wry smile during an introductory meeting with the media Monday afternoon. “I have so much invested in this team. It’s always been my dream to (stay) here.”
The 76ers introduced new general manager Tony DiLeo to the media earlier today, and DiLeo, a 22-year veteran with the team who has served in multiple positions, suggested that this is perhaps the most excited he has been about being a part of the Sixers since the team reached the Finals in 2001. “We are a big team, I mean, we are a really big team and we’ve got a lot of depth,” DiLeo, introduced on the team’s practice court at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Monday afternoon, said. “The expectations haven’t been this high since the 2000, 2001 season when we had Allen Iverson and reached the Finals. The expectations were very high then and I’d have to say that they the highest they’ve been since then.”
The Sixers on Friday agreed to a deal promoting assistant GM Tony DiLeo to general mnager under president Rod Thorn, a league source told CBSSports.com. Thorn will stay in his role for the time being, and DiLeo will eventually replace him as part of the team’s previously agreed upon succession plan when Thorn retires, the source said. According to one of the people with knowledge of the matter, Ujiri mutually decided with Nuggets ownership to stay the course in Denver, where he has substantially remodeled and upgraded the Nuggets’ roster since trading Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks in February 2011. Ujiri also managed to get involved in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and earned the respect of his peers by winding up with Andre Iguodala in the deal while also moving future salary.