It took a while, but the Philadelphia 76ers have completely shaken up their front office after all, and it’s turned out far better than fans probably hoped for. In addition to bringing in some new executives — obviously highlighted by Daryl Morey, who will be leading the Sixers’ basketball operations — some members of the front office won’t be coming back.
Adam Aaronson of The Rights to Ricky Sanchez (and a former writer for us here at Liberty Ballers) has reported that Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Alex Rucker is leaving the team.
Former #Sixers Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Alex Rucker is “out,” a team source tells @RTRSPodcast. As Daryl Morey enters, one of the more pivotal front office names of the last few years exits.— Adam Aaronson (@SixersAdam) November 1, 2020
Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Marc Eversley has also departed after agreeing to become the new GM of the Chicago Bulls in April.
Rucker joined the Sixers as their Analytics Manager in 2016-17, before being promoted to Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in 2018-19. His departure doesn’t come as much of a surprise, especially after the Sixers hired Peter Dinwiddie to serve as their new Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations. While there’s been some mixed reporting as to whether Rucker would be out or returning in an altered role, rumblings first started back in early September when Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that it was expected Rucker wouldn’t be staying. Pompey reported again this week that it was expected Rucker would be let go.
Everyone knows the collaborative approach the Sixers’ front office has used in recent years didn’t worked. GM Elton Brand said so himself in his press conference after last season. Rucker was one of the larger voices involved in the team’s decision-making over the last couple of seasons, and his exit is another notable change for the Sixers’ revamped front office.
In other news, Brand has signed a multiyear extension with Philly to stay on as GM. This may bother some fans who wanted to see a complete overhaul following some of the mistakes the Sixers’ front office has made over the last few years. But Brand is a well respected, popular figure around the league, and won’t be the lead decision-maker with Morey in charge of basketball operations.
Paul Hudrick has added an interesting note that Brand encouraged owner Josh Harris to reach out to Morey, and that Morey thinks Brand can help him.
On top of this, I’m told Elton Brand encouraged Harris to reach out to Morey because he wants to win. Everyone in the organization — ownership, staff, players — respects EB. Also told Morey believes EB can help him and that Brand is ready to learn from Morey. https://t.co/HrhCloyNw1— Paul Hudrick (@PaulHudrick) November 1, 2020
The Sixers’ new structure should create an opportunity for Brand to focus on strengthening relationships with teams, agents, and players around the league and learn as he gains experience, as Morey leads the way with transactions to start turning the team around.