Since dismissing Bryan Colangelo in June amid reports linking him to several burner Twitter accounts, the Philadelphia 76ers have been without a general manager.
Yet according to managing partner Josh Harris, they aren’t in a hurry to find a replacement — even if that means starting the season without one.
“We have a skilled and stable staff who share the same vision under Brett (Brown),” Harris told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday. “We prefer to find someone, but we don’t want to feel forced into compromising.”
Head coach Brett Brown — who signed a three-year contract extension in May — has served as the interim general manager since Colangelo was fired. He has been helped by assistant general manager Ned Cohen, senior vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley and vice president of basketball operations Elton Brand, who have all recently been promoted into expanded roles, according to Wojnarowski.
Though Harris said he’d like to bring in an “elite” general manager, he knows that’s likely not possible — as many sitting general managers in the league aren’t often open to moving around.
And if they can’t find the right person, Harris said they may just keep Colangelo in as the interim general manager.
“For us, we need someone to add real value, which includes looking at young up-and-coming basketball executives and non-traditional candidates,” Harris told ESPN. “We’re going to have a pretty selective list. This is not going to be a huge tournament. We’re going to talk to some people who aren’t sitting GMs who could add value to our situation.”
While Brown has been running both jobs this offseason, Harris said that’s not an optimal position to put him in when the season starts this fall.
The workload would simply be too much.
“Brett loves being a basketball coach — and he’s really good at it,” Harris told ESPN. “In-season, it’s an 80- to 100-hour-a-week job, and I think he’s reflective on just how much harder it would be to try and do both jobs. He’s done it on a temporary basis because it’s the right thing for the organization. His goal is to coach the Sixers to an NBA championship, and in order to put us in that position, to have a maximum chance of doing that, Brett realizes that a strengthened front office would be a good thing.”
The 76ers do still have some time to lock down a general manager before the 2018-19 season kicks off — the first preseason game starts on Sept. 28.
Yet based on how the team is sitting right now, both with an array of young talent and being in a prime position for free agency next year, Harris doesn’t want to bring in the wrong person. He’d rather just keep things how they are if need be.
“The next year is going to be incredibly important for us, and we have a real desire to find the right person now — but if not, we are incredibly comfortable with the existing staff and we’ll move forward from there,” Harris told ESPN.
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