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Sixers name Elton Brand GM of G-League's Delaware 87ers

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Sixers name Elton Brand GM of G-League's Delaware 87ers

Updated: 5:30 p.m.

Elton Brand, future NBA general manager?

If that's the career path he wants to take, he took his next step in that direction on Monday.

Brand was named the GM of the Sixers' G-League (formerly the NBA D-League) affiliate, the Delaware 87ers.

“We are thrilled that Elton has agreed to take on the GM position of the Sevens, a natural next step given both his personal and professional skill set,” Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement released by the team. “The transition from a terrific playing career to team management was something that we have been talking about for some time and this opportunity is both timely and appropriate. I look forward to working side-by-side with Elton as we continue to grow and develop our overall basketball program.”

The opening was created after former Sixers VP of basketball administration Brandon Williams, who also served as the 87ers' GM, recently left to take the assistant GM job with the Sacramento Kings.

The G-League GM role will have added emphasis this year as the NBA now has two-way contracts between G-League clubs and the NBA clubs. The Sixers over the weekend signed James Michael McAdoo, formerly of the Golden State Warriors, to a two-way contract.

Following his retirement from the NBA in 2016 after playing one final season with the Sixers, Brand stayed home with the organization as he was a player development consultant on Brett Brown's bench last season.

“I’m extremely excited to begin a new role as general manager of the 87ers,” Brand said. “I want to thank Josh Harris, David Blitzer, Bryan Colangelo and staff for the opportunity to develop, cultivate and elevate talent in our program. I look forward to building upon the successes the Sevens have had both on the court and in the community in Delaware.”

A first overall pick out of Duke by the Chicago Bulls in 1999, Brand, a two-time All-Star, played 17 NBA seasons, five which came with the Sixers from 2008-2012 and then from 2015-2016.

Brand announced his retirement from the NBA on Oct. 20, 2016.

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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