The 76ers are expected to finish their investigation into allegations against Bryan Colangelo within the next few days, according to league sources.
The start of the NBA Finals on Thursday between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers was a factor in the timetable, the sources said. The league did not want the controversy to distract from Game 1. NBA commissioner Adam Silver commented about the investigation before the game.
“Well, for the league there is always that balance of speed and doing things in a deliberate and appropriate way,” Silvers said. “So I have talked to management at the 76ers, and the notion here was let’s find out what’s going on.”
He added that the investigation will be done with deliberate speed while not cutting corners.
“So, of course, from the league standpoint, here we are, Game 1 of The Finals, it’s not necessarily something we want to be talking about, but it’s the reality of this league,” Silver added. “So I have no information beyond that other than that investigation is underway.”
Some league sources expect Colangelo to lose his job as the Sixers president of basketball operations.
NBA personnel have been on the West Coast this week attending agent-run predraft workouts. Colangelo was not at those workouts the last two days.
The Ringer, a sports and pop culture website, alleged in a report published Tuesday evening that he is connected to anonymous Twitter accounts that have revealed sensitive team information and criticized players and coach Brett Brown.
A league source said Colangelo was visibly shaken when the report broke while he was attending a workout in Los Angeles.
The Sixers announced the investigation on Wednesday morning in a written statement. As a result, Colangelo was not on hand for that day’s multiple workouts at the Sports Academy in Los Angeles, according to sources. Sources said Colangelo, who turned 53 today, also did not attend Thursday’s multiple workouts in Las Vegas.
Numerous players and league sources suggested in the last two days that it will be difficult for Colangelo to keep his position with the Sixers as a result of the report.
“The only way that he’ll get out of it is if he comes with evidence that somebody set him up,” said a league executive, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If it is out there where they can’t prove either way, I don’t think he’ll keep his job. And if there’s involvement with a family member, it doesn’t look like he has a chance either.”
The source added, unless the perpetrator made some mistakes, it would be hard to definitively prove who tweeted out the information
The Sixers must make a quick announcement on whatever they decide to do with Colangelo.
With the draft just three weeks away, and all-important free agency just a month away, the team needs some stability and to reestablish trust.
The Sixers have two first-round picks (10th and 26th overall) and four second-round selections in the draft. They are also preparing to make a big splash in free agency by targeting Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, a four-team league MVP. The team is also eyeing Oklahoma City all-star Paul George.
“This is a dark cloud that will hurt their prospects of signing quality players,” said another NBA executive.
Embiid, Luwawu-Cabarrot to play in exhibition game
Joel Embiid will be one of the headliners this summer in the NBA Africa Game.
The Sixers all-star center will lead Team Africa against Team World in the Aug. 4 exhibition in the South African capital of Pretoria. The Cameroonian native will be joined by Sixers guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot on Team Africa. Luwawu-Cabarrot is a French native, but his father is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo and Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu also are among the headliners for Team Africa. Toronto Raptors all-star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes, San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay, and Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari, a native of Italy, will lead Team World.
Brown gets extension
It’s official: The Sixers announced Thursday their three-year contract extension with head coach Brett Brown. Brown, 57, will be signed through the 2021-22 season.
The news comes two days after multiple sources confirmed the deal and a month after team co-managing partner Josh Harris said the Sixers were “invested in keeping Brett here for a long time.”