Brett Brown taking an ‘aggressive’ approach as interim GM for Sixers

USA Today Images

Brett Brown taking an ‘aggressive’ approach as interim GM for Sixers

Ever since the Sixers’ season ended with a disappointing Game 5 loss in Boston, Brett Brown has been consistent in his public remarks —he thinks the Sixers need “another high level free agent.”

But, until June 7, Brown was just speaking as head coach of the Sixers. Now, with Brown serving as interim GM as well in the aftermath of the Bryan Colangelo burner Twitter accounts scandal, his comments have heightened relevance. On the Mike Missanelli Show Friday afternoon, Brown reiterated his desire to land a star and explained his approach.

“I think we need more,” Brown said. “I feel what people should most hear is that in the event that we do not get that, we’re going to be very aggressive, and people understand the cap space that we have. In the event that we are not successful this year achieving that, we can reload and do the same thing next year.”

“We are completely exploring aggressively all options, and I think we just know we need a little bit more.”

Brown also shared his impressions of Kawhi Leonard, whom the Sixers are reportedly interested in landing through a trade. Leonard reportedly wants to leave the Spurs (see story).

“He’s a great guy,” Brown said. “I’ve spent years with him, as you know, in San Antonio. I’m reminded of the recruiting process we went through to identify him and the sort of pain we went through to give up George Hill to move up and target him. He’s good people, he’s obviously an elite talent and I enjoyed my time with Kawhi in San Antonio.”

However, Brown was coy when asked if the Sixers would indeed make an offer for Leonard.

“There are a lot of teams that are going to be interested," he said.

Brown touched on several other topics during his interview with Missanelli, ranging from Markelle Fultz’s offseason to who will have the final say on draft night.

On Markelle Fultz possibly playing summer league
“Going through it now, as far as being definitive one way or the other, we’re not in a position to do that … Personally, I hope he plays.”

Brown added that he’s heading out to Los Angeles to visit with Fultz and discuss his offseason plans.

On the report that Colangelo overruled others in the front office with his Fultz selection 
“That is untrue. There was a collaborative decision on Markelle, and we’re still happy that decision was made … Time will tell, but I’ve got belief in Markelle Fultz.”

On whether it’s a priority to bring JJ Redick back
“I love coaching JJ Redick. I really hope I can coach him again. I think the city and certainly his teammates understand what he brings to the table. Everyone gets the benefits that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have when they play with somebody like that. I really hope I can coach him again.”

Brown admitted the Sixers don’t know yet what other teams would offer Redick and how much of a pay cut he’d be willing to take. Redick, who averaged a career-best 17.1 points per game last season, made $23 million in 2017-18. He has said he wants to be back, under the right circumstances (see story).

On who will have the final say in the draft
“I think we’re going to find out. Right now, everybody’s in unison. If something pivots out of it, I’ll sit down with [owner] Josh [Harris], I’ll sit down with [vice president of player personnel] Mark Eversley and a few of the managing partners, and if it comes on me, I assume I’ll have the decision that could be the last one. I don’t believe it’s going to get to that. To date, we’ve been on the same page.”

Not the clearest answer, although that’s the most definitive Brown has been to date in saying he’ll likely have the final say. You’d hope Brown and the Sixers will work out all the logistics and have an efficient process for selecting their picks as well as both making and assessing draft night trade offers.

More on the Sixers

Knicks targeting Elton Brand as GM? Sixers 'very happy' with him, per team source

USA Today Images

Knicks targeting Elton Brand as GM? Sixers 'very happy' with him, per team source

The Knicks could be looking within the Sixers' organization during their GM search.

Team president Leon Rose has reportedly “targeted” Sixers GM Elton Brand for the same role with the Knicks, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. The report went on to say that Rose would wait to see if Brand, 41, would be let go after this year’s playoffs.

It’s a little hard to imagine the Sixers parting ways with Brand despite the team underperforming this season. Though his big moves of stealing Al Horford away from the Celtics, acquiring Josh Richardson in a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler and signing Tobias Harris to a near-max deal haven’t panned out, the organization seems to be high on Brand.

A team source on Wednesday confirmed Brand is under contract beyond this season and said the organization is very happy with his work since being named GM in 2018. The source cited Brand's leadership and strong working relationships with players, agents, and executives around the league.

That's in line with what managing partner Josh Harris told NBC Sports Philadelphia back in October.

“When the Bryan Colangelo situation occurred, we went through a really long search to try to figure out who was the right person for the job of general manager,” Harris said. “Obviously, [Brand] hadn't been in the front office very long, but all of his strength as a leader and his intelligence and his ability to communicate and his history with the game and with our team and with our city. All those things really were very large in the decision. …

“… and he's increasingly putting his insignia, his imprint on the team, and it's really great. I mean, today's NBA is a player's league. He was an All-Star player not that long ago. He's a really unique person. So I'm really happy that we're working together.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

Which era of Sixers basketball would make the best documentary?

Which era of Sixers basketball would make the best documentary?

The Sixers are a franchise rich in history and, let’s face it, rich in drama.

With ESPN moving up the release of The Last Dance, a documentary about the dominance of Michael Jordan and the Bulls in their last Finals run, it sparked an interesting debate on the Sixers Talk podcast.

Which era of Sixers basketball would you most like to see a documentary on?

Co-hosts Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick both made the case for Dr. J, Moses Malone and the teams of 1980’s … but for very different reasons.

Don’t get me wrong,” Hudrick said, “some of The Process stuff would be great to get some behind-the-scenes nuggets of what was going on there with some of the decisions that were made and getting some answers to the questions that we’ve all had. …

“[In a documentary on the 1980’s team] we can all go back and watch and see, ‘Oh, Dr. J, he won a championship.’ But to get that context of there were people who were doubting him and then he proved them all wrong. It’s little stuff like that you don’t know about until you go and watch [a documentary] like that.

Pommells agreed with wanting to see something on that era, but wasn’t nearly as interested in reliving The Process years.

To hell with The Process. I ain’t trying to watch nothing on that. I lived through it, I experienced all these little idiosyncrasies. I think once the Bryan Colangelo thing happened, that completely let me know that I was over it, past it, finished with it, ready to move on — because I’m just exasperated at this point. …

“It would be a black eye on the Philadelphia sports landscape.

Do you agree with Pommells? Would you rather see something on the Allen Iverson-led teams? Or way back in the Wilt Chamberlain-Hal Greer days?

For more on the debate, check out the full Sixers Talk podcast below.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers