The O.G. of the Sixers’ coaching staff is being elevated to an even bigger role. Elton Brand, who previously served as a Player Development Consultant for the team, is being elevated to GM of the Delaware 87ers, according to a new report from Yahoo’s Shams Charania.
Sources: Philadelphia plans to hire former NBA All-Star Elton Brand as GM of G League team. Brand has served as a development consultant.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 28, 2017
The Sixers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter, but a team source indicated that a formal announcement could come within the next 48 hours. Expect for this to go official relatively soon.
This is quite the ascent for Brand, who only became a formal member of the team’s coaching staff last December, and was playing for the Sixers as recently as the 2015-16 season. But it does coincide with a broader trend of retirees immediately getting involved in the front office picture—look no further than Chauncey Billups’ GM candidacy this summer as proof of that.
Since Brand was already tasked with working on the sort of players that populate the D-League roster as it is, it’s a move that makes sense in theory. I have no idea what Brand’s capacity for talent evaluation is, which he’ll have to prove now that he’s in a much bigger role, but he’s generally known as a great voice in the locker room, and that’s at least the sort of leadership you’d want to see at the top.
And now, the first order of business for Brand—please find somewhere else for Kaleb Tarczewski, so that there’s zero chance we ever have to watch him fumble another Markelle Fultz pass again.
UPDATE: The Sixers have formally announced Brand as the new GM of the 87ers. A portion of the press release is available below:
“We are thrilled that Elton has agreed to take on the GM position of the Sevens, a natural next step given both his personal and professional skillset,” Colangelo said. “The transition from a terrific playing career to team management was something that we have been talking about for some time and this opportunity is both timely and appropriate. I look forward to working side-by-side with Elton as we continue to grow and develop our overall basketball program.”
Brand, a 17-year NBA veteran, spent parts of five seasons with the Sixers and appeared in 263 games (222 starts) with the team from 2008-12 and in 2015-16, reaching the postseason twice. For his career, Brand posted averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 74 percent from the free-throw line in 33 minutes per game. He played in 1,058 NBA contests (868) starts with Chicago, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Sixers, Dallas and Atlanta.
“I’m extremely excited to begin a new role as General Manager of the 87ers,” said Brand. “I want to thank Josh Harris, David Blitzer, Bryan Colangelo and staff for the opportunity to develop, cultivate and elevate talent in our program. I look forward to building upon the successes the Sevens have had both on the court and in the community in Delaware.”
In a related move, the Sevens promoted Matt Lilly to Director of Basketball Operations & Scouting. Lilly spent the past two seasons as Basketball Operations Assistant and Video Coordinator for the Sevens. The Towson University graduate enters his fifth season overall in the NBA G League, including two seasons with the Erie BayHawks from 2012-2014.