The New York Knicks are reportedly interested in Philadelphia 76ers GM Elton Brand as a candidate for their own GM position. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Brand has caught the interest of Knicks president Leon Rose:
“According to a league source, Elton Brand has been targeted by Rose as a candidate for Knicks GM... The source said Rose wanted to see if Brand was dismissed after the playoffs.”
As Bondy also noted, Brand is currently under contract with the Sixers next season, and Rose used to serve as Joel Embiid’s agent.
The Sixers have been aggressive to say the least during Brand’s tenure as GM. With trades for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris (the Sixers clearly overpaid with their package to acquire Harris), their trade assets are depleted. Their cap flexibility is diminished as well, after handing out a five-year, $180 million deal to Harris and a four-year, $109 million deal to Al Horford last summer.
However, Brand’s role has been different to most GMs. For one, he took on the position with little experience, and his power has always been limited and somewhat uncertain, given the influence that other members of the Sixers’ front office and ownership have. How much final say Brand has had in recent trades and free agent signings is unclear. This is why even though Brand’s ability as a GM can be criticized (and it should be), he certainly shouldn’t take all the blame for the team’s recent moves and problems that stem from ownership.
Nevertheless, while losing Brand at some point would give the Sixers an opportunity to move in a new direction, there’s no guarantee how smart their next hire would be, either. We’ll see if this story develops at all in the coming months.