Elton Brand is still in charge, but the Sixers have reshaped their front office as promised
Following the Sixers 4-0 playoff loss to the Boston Celtics, fans demanded change occur. The team had spent ridiculous amounts of money during the offseason in way of signing both Tobias Harris and Al Horford, and all they had to show for it was a sweep at the hands of their longtime rival.
Throw in the fact that Jimmy Butler went on to lead the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals, and Sixers fans were about ready to lead a riot straight up to Elton Brand’s doorstep.
Brand’s job never ended up being in any sort of jeopardy, as Sixers ownership actually promoted him to the position of “Executive President of Basketball Operations”. However, with his new title now in place, Brand himself did promise to “assess” his current front office staff. Changes were expected to come, and ultimately speaking, they did.
Phil Jabour and Sergi Olivia on the way out of Sixers front office
I would be lying if I told you I knew who Phil Jabour was prior to the announcement of his departure, but regardless, he is now no longer with the organization.
Jabour had been with the Sixers since way back in 2014, working his way all the way up to a position as the Director of Scouting in 2019. In all honestly, it appears the Sixers did a fairly decent job scouting last offseason, as Matisse Thybulle turned out to be a solid pick and Marial Shayok has some upside. It’s unknown just how much of that was due to Jabour, but it’s worth mentioning.
Jabour departs Philly for a front office role in Sacramento.
Sergi Olivia on the other hand is a name that had become a tad infamous amongst diehard Sixers fans. Part of that “collective decision making” that led to signing Horford and letting Butler walk, Olivia was a guy who had long overstayed his welcome in Philly.
Olivia departs for a coaching staff role with the Jazz, good riddance.
Peter Dinwiddie and Prosper Karangwa on the way in
When it was announced that Brand wouldn’t be going anywhere this offseason, it was also revealed that he would begin working on finding some “basketball minds” to bring in underneath/alongside him. While there’s an argument to be made that allowing Brand to hire people isn’t the wisest of ideas, he brought in at least one well respected basketball name.
Former Indiana Pacer executive Peter Dinwiddie joins the Sixers as their new Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, and projects to be Brand’s “number two” when it comes to decision making. Dinwiddie is wildly regarded around the NBA as a top basketball mind, making this move without question the most significant front office addition.
Prosper Karangwa was Orlando’s Director of Scouting, and he joins Philly as their new Vice President of Player Personnel. The Magic have done an okay job drafting the last couple of years, meaning there’s at least some potential with this move.
Alex Rucker and Ned Cohen are both *kinda* gone
They weren’t fired, but they should both essentially be absolved of any and all decision making processes.
Public enemy #1 and #2, Alex Rucker and Ned Cohen were the two leading voices in the Sixers “collaborative front office”. Both reportedly played large roles in inking Horford to an $100+ million contract, and both were against the idea of bringing back Jimmy Butler.
Rucker stays with the team but will see himself demoted to a lesser role within the organization. Cohen didn’t have his Assistant GM title touched, but he is now noticeably down the pecking order in terms of roster-related decisions. Like previously mentioned, Dinwiddie is now Brand’s new right-hand man.
Personally, I would have preferred the Sixers simply fire everyone and hand Daryl Money a blank check, but I’ll settle for this recent set of restructuring. The Sixers front office has been historically bad over the last 12-18 months, so it’s hard to imagine that these newest names do any worse.
Throw in the fact that newly hired head coach Doc Rivers has been known to cast his vote when it comes to roster construction, and there’s a glimmer of hope worth clinging onto when it comes to the 2021 Sixers.
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