PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It took Thanos a snap of a finger to kill off half of the Marvel universe and it took Brett Brown uttering just two words, “star hunting,” to hurt the Sixers’ chances of attracting the proper star talent to take them over the top.
Major NBA trades and signings are built on poker principles: never show your hand and never let them see you sweat.
As head coach, and more importantly, interim GM of the Sixers, Brown showed his hand and the immense pressure he was on after taking over the general manager role from former President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo by responding with his “star hunting” phrase following the controversial draft night trade of local favorite and Villanova standout Mikal Bridges, who the Sixers selected 10th overall.
It is one thing for other executives in the league to think they know what you want, it is another thing to put it out there for them to exploit you when it comes to doing trades.
By not landing Kawhi Leonard because the reported asking price of All-Star center Joel Embiid or Rookie-Of-The-Year point guard Ben Simmons were too steep, Brown and the Sixers are left to deal with the consequences of what happens when you let everyone know what you’re doing.
Sure, San Antonio reportedly requested one of those two young studs for Leonard because the guy won an NBA title and Finals MVP (and he also arguably the one of the three best players on the planet when healthy). They also did so because Brown put the Sixers are “star hunting” out there.
Brown may be new to the role of being the face, voice and man behind the front office’s player personnel moves, but he is quickly getting a rude awakening of a crash course with just one month into the role.
To Brown apologists, it’s always sunny in Philadelphia, even when a summer made primed for them to land a major talent has spiraled into a dark and sunken place of standing pat and hoping their young stars rise to the occasion this coming season.
In the end, this summer of landing nothing, save a coveted “1B” and 2021 unprotected first round pick is best in the hands of a savvy GM, which the Sixers have lacked since Sam Hinkie left.
Just in case fans scream they reportedly almost had one in current Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, he was not the answer as his “genius” decision was solely trading and signing James Harden several years ago. Since then, he has left Houston over-matched in the West and financially strapped with an aging and oft-injured Chris Paul, a possible max-deal center in Clint Capela, who is decent but limited, and a one-way guard in “The Beard.”
It’s not too late for the Sixers to bring back Hinkie to finish the process he started. But the Sixers have been on a roll when it comes to not doing the right thing in the front office as of late.