While the hunt for a coach for the 76ers has taken center stage, the question mark at general manager - which this struggling club addressed (or at least bandaged) before last season – also hangs over the franchisel.
Majority owner Josh Harris made it a point to say that he and general manger Tony DiLeo would be the driving forces behind the team’s search for Doug Collins' replacement. However, DiLeo’s contract expires in less than two months, most likely long after Collins’ replacement has been named.
This is interesting because if DiLeo does not receive and extension from the team, the new general manager could come into a situation where the coach is not his guy.
This is never a good place to start. The general manager should always have some say in the naming of the coach. The coach is supposed to be his guy, especially if he is naming his first coach.
Not long after Harris said that he and DiLeo were taking the lead in the coaching search, Harris said DiLeo is the general manager - at least for now. However, when asked if DiLeo would remain in that position, well, let’s just say that the endorsement was not a ringing one.
“I believe that we certainly made decisions that we all can learn from last year and things didn’t work out - so everything is on the table,” Harris said. “We’re going to be looking at all aspects of the organization in trying to bring a winner to Philly. So that’s the way I would answer that.”
When the Sixers went looking for Thorn’s replacement last year, ownership wanted to hire someone steeped in analytics. Majority owner Josh Harris was more interested in bringing in a guy steeped in advanced statistics, such as Boston Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren, than a more traditional general manager.
However, Collins, an old school basketball guy who before this recently completed season was viewed by the neophyte owners as the goose that laid the golden egg, pushed back against the number-crunching movement and DiLeo was promoted.
If DiLeo is going to remain the general manager, then he should have ownership’s full support, especially considering the frayed state of the front office with such a busy and challenging summer just around the corner.
Harris bolstered the lagging analytics department last year when he hired Aaron Barzilai to head it up. Could Harris, who has a strong belief in analytics, look to take it one step further and go full steam ahead and immerse the franchise in analytics by hiring a guy similar to Houston’s Daryl Morey?
And if this is the plan, that person should be in charge of selecting the coach.