UPDATE: John Finger says Jeff Bower is also a candidate, albiet a long-shot.
Reports from all over saying it's close -- the Sixers may have found their next General Manager in former Blazers executive and ESPN salary cap guy Tom Penn. Rod Thorn has been serving in a consulting capacity while the team has interviewed replacements, and Penn would certainly represent a change of pace for this Sixers organization in desperate need of one.
Penn was with Portland from 2007-2010 and though he's interviewed for the Orlando Magic GM job among others, has been with ESPN since leaving the Blazers. I can't find how old he is exactly, but he's a handsome young dude, so I'd ballpark it at 40 years old, give or take. The ageists on the blog (myself included) are certainly rejoicing.
I love his knowledge of the cap -- hopefully the financial flexibility the Sixers have been working towards will be used in the right place -- and commitment to advanced statistics. The Sixers have always seemed like a TRADITIONAL STATS GET OFF MY LAWN organization, so bringing in some fresh blood with a different take on things (and an affinity for referencing Synergy) will open up some doors.
The best thing is that Penn doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would allow himself to become a figurehead for Doug Collins. We're trying to dig up some more stuff on him, but he seems like a guy with a clear vision on how to succeed in the NBA and could usher in a new era of Sixers basketball. This offseason has continuously ping-ponged my emotions and this move would be a much-needed plus going into next season.
We'll wait and see for now. We all remember how the Danny Ferry thing flipped on a dime.