Thanks to television and the world wide web, you’ve heard of all the different things you can do in exactly one month.
Go from out of shape to toned abs? Check.
Being in debt to a perfect credit score? You bet.
The list goes on and on.
What there isn’t a guide for is taking over the front office operations of an NBA team entering arguably its most important offseason in franchise history. Still, somehow Brett Brown has taken on the added responsibility and managed to keep the Sixers in prime position to achieve their goals.
Just 28 days ago — and only a week after agreeing to a multi-year contract extension as Sixers head coach — Brown was thrust into the role of interim general manager after Bryan Colangelo’s well-documented resignation.
“My role is one of trying to provide the best leadership that I can and show faith and support and have fun with this and move this program forward with them over the next month, month and a half,” Brown said on June 7. “The free-agent market, the draft, keeping our current players on track with their development plans and keeping in touch with them, those are the things that will rule my day, will rule our day.
“In regards to my role in all of this, it’s simply to provide a level of leadership with people that I trust and respect and do the best that I can while I’m here moving us forward.”
More than anything, Brown is a man of his word and he’s proven that in his performance as interim GM this offseason.
He landed players in the draft that fit the position-less mold of basketball and selfless team culture the Sixers are attempting to build upon, all while also securing a key unprotected first-round pick in 2021.
Brown said the Sixers were going “star hunting” this summer and that’s exactly what they did. Despite whiffing on the top tier of free agents, the team still managed to secure a meeting with LeBron James’ agent, were reportedly in the mix for Paul George and have continued to pursue a trade for Kawhi Leonard.
When those options dried up, the Sixers moved swiftly to bring back their own players in JJ Redick and Amir Johnson. The biggest factor being that it came at a significant discount from the 2017-18 season (roughly $15 million next season compared to $34 million last season). That locks in the squad’s second-leading scorer and primary backup big man for another run with the young core.
Then when their prime bench options in Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova were lured away in free agency, Brown’s Sixers acquired Wilson Chandler from the Denver Nuggets and reached a deal with Nemanja Bjelica. The Chandler move addressed the scoring pop that Belinelli provided and a need for a quality wing defender off the bench. Meanwhile, Bjelica is guaranteed to take on the stretch four duties of Ilyasova after shooting 41.5 percent from long range last season.
All of those decisions were certainly run past Brown in some way, as he made sure the Sixers will be at least at the level of the breakout 2017-18 campaign and perhaps even better. But more importantly, none of the transactions are for more than a year, so the organization will have ample salary cap space yet again next summer to potentially set its sights on the likes of Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Klay Thompson.
Not bad for a guy during his first month on the job.