"I think I know what's going to happen," 76ers coach Brett Brown said Tuesday afternoon regarding the team's vacant general manager position.
A few hours later, Elton Brand was named GM of the Sixers.
One of the first things Brown said when he was named interim general manager in June was that he did not want the job. It has been just over three months since Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers parted ways, leaving Brown and his staff in charge of the decision making.
Bringing in an outside hire as GM who would have wanted more power was not what the Sixers were looking for.
"This is a high level job and there's a lot of responsibility that comes with selecting this person," Brown said during his annual media luncheon on Tuesday. "This life that we've all lived with Sam [Hinkie] and Bryan, it's been interesting to say the least. So, how do we find continuity? I'm really looking for a partner. I'm really looking for a consistent partner."
In that partnership that is now Brown and Brand, it's still unclear who will have the final say. Brown said Tuesday that once a general manager was named, the power structure and organizational chart would also be discussed and revealed.
On Thursday, Brand will be formally introduced as Sixers general manager and at that time both will have to answer the question; Who will have the final say when it comes to decision making? Of course, ownership will always have the final say, but that usually comes in the form of green-lighting a GM's decision.
The Sixers have created a strong front office that includes Alex Rucker (who was promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations on Tuesday), Ned Cohen, and Marc Eversley.
With the way the Sixers have formed their front office, and with Brown being a part of the GM hiring committee, they are likely to say that decisions will be collaborative. But in the NBA hierarchy, there is always someone who is held accountable, and collaborative won't work forever.
If bad deals or decisions are made, if recruiting doesn't go as planned, or if any number of things go wrong, there will need to be someone in the hot seat and on the chopping block.
"I think we would all be naive to think that free agents choose a basketball program because of a general manager. They come because of Joel [Embiid] and Ben [Simmons], and I hope the coaches have a little bit to do with it," Brown said. "Where we ended up, because we weren't able to secure LeBron James, or Kawhi Leonard, or Paul George had nothing to do with Sam Hinkie or Bryan Colangelo."
Brown is right when he says that big-time free agents aren't swayed by a general manager's name. But trades, or negotiations with agents and other general managers are often in the hands of a GM.