76ers

Sixers Mailbag: Draft De'Aaron Fox at 3, re-sign Ersan Ilyasova?

Sixers Mailbag: Draft De'Aaron Fox at 3, re-sign Ersan Ilyasova?

This week, I tweeted asking for questions for a Sixers mailbag, and the replies came pouring in. (Thanks, everyone!)

So we changed it up and in addition to answering the questions in these articles, we also discussed some of the topics on PST Extra. Read below and watch the video for the responses. If you tweeted a question with #CSNSixersMailbag and don’t see it on here, don't worry, there will be plenty more answered leading up to the draft and free agency.

The Sixers should explore all possibilities: trade up, trade down, trade the pick, draft third. The draft is a little funky this year in that there is not a clear-cut choice between picks three through five, and perhaps beyond that. If the Sixers like either player, there is the possibility they could simply select that player No. 3.

I’ve said before, I could see Fox going third. The speedy point guard met with the Sixers at the draft combine and outlined how he would fit playing off the ball with Ben Simmons and finding opportunities with Joel Embiid. Is three a stretch for him? I don’t think so (more on why here).

Monk has not been projected as high as Fox, so the option of trading down for him is viable. If the Sixers draft for need, however, his skill set is a fit at three. Monk is their best option for a shooter, and they are lacking shooters. It's not uncommon for a prospect to jump in the draft order based on what the team at that selection is looking for. Of course, if the Sixers trade down, they could pick up another piece (future pick, etc.) in addition to Monk in the deal, which always is worth considering.

Ersan Ilyasova was a great veteran presence for the Sixers this season before they traded him to the Hawks at the deadline. He boosted their offense and, more importantly, helped in Dario Saric’s development.

The Sixers and Ilyasova had different plans for the future, though, and understandably so. Ilyasova, who turned 30 this month, was going to be looking for a longer-term contract this offseason than the Sixers were interested in offering. Ilyasova wanted commitment and security at this point in his career; the Sixers wanted flexibility with their options in the frontcourt.

Ilyasova has put together a résumé that will attract teams in free agency this summer.

Sixers hire Elton Brand as general manager

Sixers hire Elton Brand as general manager

The Sixers have found their man.

The Sixers have hired Elton Brand as their general manager, sources confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the news, Brand will be elevated from his previous role as vice president of basketball operations. Brand was also already on board as the Delaware Blue Coats’ general manager.

The Sixers conducted an exhaustive search for a new GM after Bryan Colangelo resigned in June following his highly-publicized Twitter scandal. Brett Brown filled the role until the franchise made Brand the choice.

The search included external candidates such as Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Larry Harris, Utah Jazz assistant general manager Justin Zanik and Houston Rockets vice president Gersson Rosas.

The team also heavily considered in-house candidates assistant GM Ned Cohen, senior vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley and senior vice president of analytics and strategy Alex Rucker.

In the end, the Sixers went with a familiar face who is expected to operate in their desired collaborative method to run the front office.

“What I've learned is that GM job has got many facets and that it's a learned skill,” Sixers managing partner Josh Harris told ESPN last month. “It's certainly got a public-facing nature to it, but management and very strong relationships are important — and very few people who are not sitting GMs have all of those components. We have strengths in all those areas around our front office right now.”

Players on the Sixers’ roster seemed to think the organization made the right call.

Brand’s NBA career spanned 17 seasons that included two stints with the Sixers (2008-12, 2015-16). He garnered plenty of accolades over the years from Co-Rookie of the Year to being a two-time All-Star.

However, in recent years Brand shifted focus from the hardwood to the boardroom. After being named a player development consultant for the Sixers in 2016, the 39-year-old quickly worked his way up the ranks to become the team’s top executive.

“Really working in Chicago, working pre-draft, going to Utah, Vegas with the summer league team, being in those high-level meetings with Josh Harris, Dave Blitzer and Bryan Colangelo really piqued my interest,” Brand said in 2017 when he was named Blue Coats GM of turning his attention to a front-office role. “I like this. I can really work basketball instead of playing it. That’s how it started. 

“ … The appeal was to get the repetitions in, transactions, and management, and day-to-day operations, trades. Just calling the shots, getting an opportunity to call the shots. People were like, ‘Oh, your name can get you the opportunity to call shots.’ I don’t want a job because of my name. I want a job because of what I can bring to the table and potential. That’s why I really want to do it.”

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Brett Brown expects Sixers will have a GM by start of season

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Brett Brown expects Sixers will have a GM by start of season

Soon enough, the Sixers will have their next general manger.

Sixers head coach and interim GM Brett Brown told reporters on Tuesday he expects the team will have a GM before the season starts. The Sixers kick off their 2018-19 campaign on Oct. 16 against the Celtics.

Brown has been serving as interim GM since Bryan Colangelo's chaotic departure on June 7, navigating the Sixers through the draft and free agency with the help of assistant GM Ned Cohen, senior vice president of player personnel Marc Eversely and the rest of the front office. 

The team has reportedly interviewed internal candidates Cohen, Eversley, vice president of basketball operations Elton Brand and senior vice president of analytics and research Alex Rucker. Utah Jazz assistant general manager Justin Zanik and Houston Rockets executive vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas both reportedly had second interviews with the team.

Brown told reporters that he'll have a big role in choosing the next GM. While he's embraced the difficult dual responsibilities of interim GM and head coach, being able to focus on coaching his team would be beneficial heading into the season.

The Sixers begin training camp with media day on Friday. Their first preseason game is Sep. 28 at the Wells Fargo Center against Melbourne United.

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