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Sixers Promote Brandon Williams to Chief of Staff Role

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The Delaware 87ers GM has been promoted, and will step into a newly created role while continuing to report to Sam Hinkie.

"What do you think? Chicken fingers or a burger?"
"What do you think? Chicken fingers or a burger?"
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

As if the Sixers needed to make their front office structure more needlessly confusing, an old face now has a new title. Brandon Williams, previously GM of the Delaware 87ers, has been named the chief of staff according to a report from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The position is freshly created according to Woj, but the framing of Williams' ascent may be the most interesting part of the report (bold emphasis mine):

The Philadelphia 76ers promoted executive Brandon Williams to the newly created position of chief of staff, reporting to general manager Sam Hinkie, league sources told The Vertical.

In Williams' new role, he'll have broader oversight on matters that include player development, agent relations and recruiting.

Sixers chairman Jerry Colangelo has to sign off on organizational moves involving basketball operations.

It's a bit of an eyebrow raiser to throw that into a stray report regarding a shift in Sixers management structure, considering the team itself has refused to comment on the exact nature of their power distribution.

Saying Colangelo has to sign off on something is much different than the idea of him being a consultant or an "adviser", as per his official title. This could be a case of Wojnarowski twisting some screws in response to the team's years of radio silence under Hinkie, but that's a reach at best.

It's no accident to throw this in when Williams' new responsibilities make him sound like a less authoritative Jerry Colangelo; Williams will be tasked with matters of player development, agent relations and recruiting. Those are precisely the things that we've been led to believe are in Colangelo's wheelhouse, except Williams will be definitively working under Sam Hinkie.

Williams' history as an executive within the Sixers umbrella is pushed to the bottom of the article, placing the supposed subject further down to first establish who's calling the shots. To suddenly reveal this in an otherwise innocuous piece would seem to suggest that Colangelo himself is the guy feeding information to Wojnarowski.

Much like in the acquisition of Ish Smith, there's a bit of chicken or the egg, Jerry or the Hink to the scenario. Williams is a "Hinkie guy", originally brought in by the general manager in 2013. Promoting a coworker who has performed up to or above your standards would make complete and total sense.

However, the creation of a new role suggests that Colangelo is not just helping to shape the team but seeking to restructure the entire organization. Williams was already performing assistant GM duties under Hinkie; the necessity of creating a new title for him to continue to do the same work is lacking.

Murkiness in organizational power seems to be a hallmark of Philadelphia sports, which is probably a good thing when you consider how lifeless actual performance has been the past few years. We'll see how many times the Sixers can redraw the organizational flowchart before the season ends.