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.