There seems to be a little shake up in the works for the 76ers organization and it’s not coming in the form of trades, free agents or draft picks. News broke today that the Philadelphia front office is interviewing eventual and potential replacements for the 71-year old Sixers President, Rod Thorn, who will be entering the final year of his 3-year contract at the end of the 2012-2013 season.
Based on the article Bob Cooney wrote today, the Sixers interview party will consist of owner Josh Harris, CEO Adam Aron, Doug Collins and Thorn himself.
Yes, Thorn will be selecting his soon to be replacement as he did with the New Jersey Nets in 2010 because of a provision in the contract former chairmen Ed Snider gave him in the same year. No matter the outcome, Thorn will have a part-time consultant job with the Sixers for 5-years after his presidential contract expires. Presumably, he will be offering an “All-State” helping hand to whichever prospect the “brain trust” brings in.
The article also stated that a “source” said that the process could take up to a year, but if the right candidate came along within the next few months, Thorn would then assume his part time role “immediately”.
So what names are being highlighted in bright neon yellow marker?
Let’s take a look at the list “sources close to the situation” are throwing out there:
John Hammond: If I had to take one guess, I would think Doug Collins has Hammond on the top of his individual, future self-benefit list. The duo is familiar with one another after working previously on theDetroit sidelines as coaches and it wouldn’t be farfetched to assume that the two have stayed in contact since. After butting heads with Thorn for the last few years, Hammond would be a Collins “Yes Man”, providing the coach an amble running mate when it comes down to future moves and overall direction. In four seasons as the Milwaukee Bucks General Manager,Hammond has gone to the playoffs only one time (during the “Fear the Deer” 2009-2010 season, where Hammond was also named the NBA’s Executive of the Year) but also has made some pretty strong moves along the way (namely Hakim Warrick for John Salmons in 2009 and this year’s acquisition of Monta Ellis). He’s not afraid to pull the trigger which could be both a good and bad thing.
Dennis Lindsey: He’s on the list if not only because he is a center piece for every NBA team looking for a new GM. He has been rumored among the current Orlando and Portland GM vacancies, so why not throw him in as a contender for the Sixers future position as well. Lindsey has been reluctant to jump onto projects he’s not all too comfortable with in the past (i.e. Minnesota), but out of the two other teams he’s being held in high regards for, the Sixers have the best core of young talent he can work with (that is, if Superman leaves Metropolis). Bringing a man who has spent the last 5 years as the Spurs Assistant GM wouldn’t be the worst decisionPhiladelphia has ever made.
Troy Weaver: Not too sure about Weaver in regards to his tutelage as he is young, raw and a little inexperienced but he has definite upside having spent the last two seasons as the Assistant GM under Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder. During that time, Weaver has been in charge of coordinating the NBA Draft preparations and player free agency for the team. Being that they are in the Finals and Presti is regarded as one of the better GM’s in the NBA (three playoff appearances, two division titles, one conference title and a possible Finals title in five years), Weaver must have some inclination as to what he is doing. The addition of some younger front office talent wouldn’t be a bad thing either for the Sixers. Oh and did I mention Weaver was an assistant coach at Syracuse during their 2003 National Title year as well as an assistant coach at Pittsburgh from 1996-99? Did I also fail to mention he graduated from Prince George’s Community College in Maryland where he played basketball as well? Could be an eventual welcome home party…
Danny Ferry: I personally hate this rumored candidate. I want to stay away from this man as much as humanly possible even if it means having Evan Turner putting a restraining order on him for stalking. Why do I have so much animosity? Do you remember the Cavaliers makeup a few seasons ago? He completely mismanaged the “LeBron James Era” in Cleveland and should suffer for the remainder of his days by being banned to basketball purgatory. Ferry was the man behind adding Mo Williams, Shaquille O’Neal, Leon Powe, and Antawn Jamison as members of “The King’s Court”. He was the man behind James bolting to the best source of help he could possibly find. Not sure I want an older Mo Williams, Eddy Curry, Keyon Dooling and Shawn Marion alongside Jrue and ET in a few years.
Rick Sund: Sund would be the equivalent of winning a second place prize if the Sixers obtained him. He’s not as great as the grand prize, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the third place option (FERRY!). Sund has been around the block a time or two and has tinkered with his fair share of NBA teams along the way; always managing to get them to the playoffs but not much further. In his ten seasons as a GM, Sund has made the playoffs six times. That’s great and all, but it’s his lack of orchestrating a team to get to the Conference Finals and beyond that worries me. He also has a tendency (at least in my head) of paying players more than their individual worth (see: Johnson, Joe).
The Long Shot
Kevin Pritchard: Grant this as the Philadunkia stamp of approval for the manufacturing of “Pritchard 2013” campaign shirts, as he is the personal favorite of our very own Carey Smith. Pritchard is well known as a great NBA talent evaluator (LaMarcus Aldridge) as well as what I would describe as an NBA chemist. He has shown the ability to see the trajectory of his super stars and realized what sort of complimentary players he would need to surround them with (Nicholas Batum was a Pritchard boy, in case you forgot.). Say what you will about Greg Oden, but at the time it was a can’t miss draft selection that ultimately cost Pritchard his job. Well, that and Brandon Roy’s knees. With all of that said, Pritchard signed with the Indiana Pacers in 2011 and he looks to be Larry Bird’s golden son. He warrants serious consideration, but prying him away from Larry Legend’s gaze might be a difficult task for the 7-6’s “Brain Trust”.
There are some pretty viable options out there that could make immediate impacts on the Sixers future roster. Of course these names are all rumors and I’m sure more news will continue to come out about possible options as the summer moves along.
If for some reason the 76ers “Brain Trust” doesn’t find the suitor they are looking for (say a 23 year old Iowa alumni who dubs as an NBA fanatic who expertise’s in NBA Trade Machine magnifications), consider this my application.