Another ex-Duke star could be on his way to Sixers' front office, as NBC's own Tom Haberstroh theorizes.
With Daryl Morey reportedly coming to Philly as the franchise's new president of basketball operations and Elton Brand still entrenched as general manager, Shane Battier could be a perfect fit with the Sixers.
Joining the Heat's front office back in 2017 as Miami's vice president of basketball development and analytics, Battier's standing as an executive around the league has only grown since. I thought he would've been a remarkable hire for the Sixers after the Bryan Colangelo fiasco in 2018, but the franchise opted to go for, coincidentally enough, Battier's old Duke teammate in Brand.
Battier's career has long been intertwined with Morey's. A fresh assistant general manager with the Rockets, Morey was instrumental in Houston acquiring Battier from the Grizzlies in the summer of 2006. The New York Times Magazine proclaimed Battier a "No-Stats All-Star" in an expose on Morey back in 2009, as the general manager was red paper-clipping his way to a contending roster.
Battier's understanding of analytics and the value of defense over traditional box score stats was evident more than a decade ago. While Battier's Duke education is impressive on its own, it's his time spent with Morey and the Rockets that likely launched him into his current forward-thinking position in the well-regarded Heat organization.
With Morey in the fold, it's obvious that the Sixers will be putting a premium on progressive basketball ideas and rely as heavily on analytics as they did during the Sam Hinkie era, if not more so. Given Battier's statistical experience in addition to being a championship role player, Battier represents the best of both worlds in a front office hire.
Hey, Daryl. Get on this quick before another team swipes up Battier for a fresh promotion.