Top Offseason Priorities to Jumpstart New Era in Philly


As one era ends, another begins.

The Philadelphia 76ers have fired Brett Brown, effectively ending the “The Process” era.

The move also signals change for an organization that has failed to meet expectations.

Last spring, the 76ers took the Raptors to the brink in Game 7, convincing the organization the team was ready to break through to the Finals. Universally understood as his last chance, the organization brought Brett back for another run. Unfortunately for Brown and everyone else involved, this season was an endless string of disappointments cultivating in a series sweep at the hands of their longtime rival, the Boston Celtics.

76ers Organization Address the Firing

Less than 24 hours following the series defeat, 76ers General Manager Elton Brand released a statement on Brett’s dismissal.

“I have a tremendous level of respect for Brett both personally and professionally and appreciate all he’s done for the 76ers organization and the city of Philadelphia” Brand said. “He did many positive things during his time here, developing young talent and helping position our team for three straight postseason appearances. Unfortunately, we fell well short of our goals this year and I believe it is best to go in a new direction”.

The organization had nothing but high praise for the coach that guided them through seven eventful seasons. Managing partner of the 76ers, Josh Harris said “He is a high-character coach and leader and we’re fortunate to have had him here” in his statement on Brown’s termination. Although well-respected, the 76ers recognized that it was time to move on Brett as their head coach.

Entering the season, this roster was touted as a championship contender. Instead, it resulted in a sixth-seeded, first-round exit. Now the organization must the face the challenge of revitalizing the championship aspirations that existed only a short time ago.

The Brett Brown firing was the first step in ushering a new era of Philadelphia 76ers basketball.

Heading into the offseason, here are the top priorities for the franchise moving forward.

Front Office Synergy

A recent buzzword coming from the 76ers organization– accountability. Something missing from this organization as the front office structure has been difficult to identify.

Former General Manager and President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo embarrassed the entire organization following his controversial resignation back in 2018. Surprisingly promoted internally, Colangelo’s hires remained within the front office. This created a “consensus-oriented” approach within the front office even after hiring Elton Brand as the next General Manager of the team. The collaborative process produced little cohesion between personnel and effectively sheltered anyone from taking blame within the organization.

In a recent press conference, the 76ers organization addressed this lack of accountability. Josh Harris in his statement “It’s unacceptable and it’s important that we all hold ourselves accountable.” acknowledging this isn’t where they want to be.

Taking a larger role in the organization, Elton Brand conveyed the changes to come in the front office that morning.

“To be clear and frank, we feel that the collaboration days didn’t work too well, so I will be leading the search” Brand when asked about the upcoming coaching search.

As to further personnel moves, Brand said “I’m doing a thorough assessment of our front office” and “change can and will be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary”

Addressing his increasing power Brand said ” I’ve grown as a leader, I’ve grown as a general manager. I was put under fire, I had so many great, tough decisions to be a part of. But now, I’m looking forward to putting my stamp on this thing and take full accountability for whatever happens next.”

Establishing a front office hierarchy will be a crucial in transforming this roster into a contender. Enabling Brand’s power in the decision making process builds towards that goal.

Acquire Shooting

In the aforementioned press conference, Brand made it clear that he has no intention of trading Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Instead, he is looking to compliment the young stars. If that is the case, then shooting needs to be the focal point of their future roster moves.

The team struggled all season to generate consistent offense due to lack of shooting and spacing. Players like Josh Richardson, Al Horford, and Tobias Harris are all capable shooters from deep, but lack ability to shoot them efficiently at a high-volume. Ever since Redick left for New Orleans last summer, the team has struggled to replace that consistent threat from deep.

3-PT Struggles Against Celtics (4 games)

  • 76ers team: 32-121 (26.4%) – Playoff low
  • Tobias Harris: 2-15 (13.3%)
  • Al Horford: 0-4 (0%)

Not exactly ideal for the 76ers max free-agent signings from last summer.

Without shooters he could trust, Embiid was reluctant to pass out of the double team all series long. Following the series, Brett Brown said “The thing that I found the most challenging as the season played out (was) space became an enormous issue” acknowledging the major issue with his team.

Adding shooting is a simple, attainable fix that would benefit the team in numerous ways:

  • Better spacing for Embiid to do most of his work down low, forcing defenses to rethink doubling him.
  • Give Simmons more weapons to pass to (he manufactured the most 3’s in the NBA this season even with a subpar shooting cast).
  • Less-predictable late-game offense.

For years, the league has more and more prioritized shooting while the 76ers have opted for size and defensive versatility. Brand wants to better compliment his young stars. Reliable shooters should be the first place he looks.

Retain Cap Flexibility

The Colangelo family inherited a great cap situation from Sam Hinkie’s regime. Years since, the front office have squandered that flexibility by strapping themselves into paying three power forwards and a center max deals.

In 2023, the 76ers owe the core of Simmons, Embiid, Horford and Harris $132,529,529. A number well over the cap even three years from now.

Clearing Horford’s contract is where they should start. He struggled to fit alongside Embiid and Simmons all season. He displayed flashes of success in the Bubble, however, and with the right team he can still be a valuable player in this league.

Philadelphia will most likely have to see Tobias Harris’ five-year, $180 million contract through its entirety. After his disappointing series against the Celtics, the Tobias contract may officially be the worst contract in the league.

The Thunder conveying their first-round pick may be the one bright spot of the bubble for the 76ers. That 2020 first-round pick could be additional piece to get someone to take their big contracts.

In any future trades, the organization will be working at a disadvantage. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a primary goal for them. Retaining that flexibility will be crucial in building a contending team.

In today’s NBA, when trading bad money you usually will take bad money back. Turning Horford into a shooter or a play-making guard is better than keeping the status quo. Think of how the Mavs took Tim Hardaway Jr.’s bad contract and turned him into a valuable piece either for their core or as a trade asset. Moves of that mold always exist in the league, but it’s on the front office to be ready for that opportunity.

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About Jeff Moran

NBA fan since the dark days of the early 2000's. Favorite player growing up was Allen Iverson. Self-loathing 76ers fan ever since. Argue with anyone, anywhere that MJ is the GOAT.

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