By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is widely believed that Sixers head coach Doug Collins has final say in team personnel matters.
It would seem as though if that’s the case, he might be disappointed in the thumbs-up he gave the Andrew Bynum deal.
NBA Analyst Ric Bucher reports that Collins is “consumed with tracking boxscores and performances of Moe Harkless,” who the Sixers selected in the 2012 draft and gave up in the Bynum deal along with Andre Iguodala, Nik Vucevic, and a first round draft pick in 2015.
Harkless was considered a project when he was selected, but has been able to consistently get more playing time in Orlando with the Magic, as they’ve headed in the youth movement direction. Harkless is averaging only six points and four rebounds per game on the season, but has scored in double figures in four straight games, and averaged seven rebounds, a steal and a block in those games. He averaged 35 minutes per game in February, after getting less than half that in October through January.
During the off-season, reports leaked of a sort-of power struggle between Collins and Rod Thorn, which eventually resulted in Thorn’s sort-of retirement and Collins gaining the final say he desired. The hiring of Tony DiLeo as general manager also points toward Collins having final say, as it’s unlikely many prospective GM’s would come to Philadelphia without final say on personnel matters (see, Danny Ferry, Mike Zarren, Jeff Bower, Masai Uijiri, etc…).
It was, and still is, regardless of Bynum’s situation, widely agreed upon that the chance the Sixers took on Bynum was something they needed to do.
When things are going poorly in just about any aspect of life, it’s hard not to wonder what could have been. “Going poorly” would seem to be an understatement for the current state of the Sixers.
If the report is true, it’s impossible to know if Collins’ tracking of Harkless is curiosity, regret, boredom, or an indication he was not in favor of the Bynum deal.
Well, Collins was late to the press conference. Maybe he was on the phone with Harkless.