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November 01, 2020

Sixers finalize multi-year extension for GM Elton Brand

The Sixers have finalized a multi-year contract extension for GM Elton Brand, coinciding with their hiring of Daryl Morey to run the basketball ops department, a team source confirmed to PhillyVoice on Sunday afternoon. Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report the news of an extension.

Brand's extension caps a hectic offseason of restructuring in the front office and cements a spot in the front office for the GM who led the Sixers for much of this unorthodox offseason period.

A deal to keep Brand with the team has been in the works for a while, and reinforces reporting from this offseason about the role he has had in recent months and respect Brand seems to have from his peers inside and outside of the organization. 

Multiple outside sources complimented Brand over the past few months for his offseason activity and his upside as an executive, compliments that have been echoed by people with the Sixers from the players all the way up to ownership.

Brand's list of fans includes new head coach Doc Rivers, who spent a good chunk of his introductory press conference praising Brand. 

"We'll work together. That's one of the things that was so exciting about this job, to have that opportunity with Elton," Rivers said. "I think we have a chance to build something great here. Not just on the court. I actually think it starts off the court, and we have to get that part right. So that's exciting. I think Elton and I will have a chance to form an amazing partnership together, and we'll grow from there."

“When I leave this place and decide to go off to some far-away golf course," Rivers added during a later interview, "my goal is for it to be said that Elton Brand is the best GM in sports.”

It shouldn't surprise anyone that Rivers would praise Brand, as Philadelphia's general manager was the man leading the coaching search for most of the offseason, right up until ownership held meetings with the final group. But the front office structure has changed since then, with the team pursuing and landing Morey to run the basketball operations department.

Brand signing an extension seems to clear up any concern about his ability/willingness to work underneath Morey, which was fair to question after someone was hired above him. In some ways, being the No. 2 is of great benefit to Brand, who can continue to wield power and be a strong voice within the organization while not having the responsibility of being the head honcho. That allows Brand to build valuable experience and position himself well for other job openings that may become available down the line.

There's also an easy case to be made that it helps the Sixers in their quest to turn over the roster. Morey is an experienced dealmaker with contacts far and wide around the league, a fact that endears you to some people more than others. Should the Sixers need a multi-pronged approach to close a deal, Brand's general popularity could be a useful tool in negotiations.

The other front-office hires the Sixers have made in recent weeks — Peter Dinwiddie, Prosper Karangwa, and Jameer Nelson — are expected to continue unchanged, albeit with one more name above them in the Philadelphia power structure, a team source told PhillyVoice.

Though the order of operations has been erratic, ultimately Sixers ownership has landed some of the biggest and best names on the market to improve the front office, investing even more resources to try to bring a winner to Philadelphia. The hardest work is still left to be done, with the Sixers needing a major roster overhaul to suit the talents of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but Joshua Harris and Co. have left little doubt about their commitment to improving the organization.

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