After three years of bad trades and worthless free agent signings, general manager Rod Thorn finally gained back some of the respect of the Philadelphia 76ers fanbase by pulling the trigger on the trade that brought Andrew Bynum to Philly.
After Wednesday’s press conference—where Bynum clearly stated he would like to remain a Sixer for a “very, very long time”—fans are drooling over the ceiling of this young team. Even so, the new Sixers’ owners are wasting no time searching for Thorn’s replacement.
According to the recent report from Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick, the team has found its third candidate, Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren; they’ve already met with Portland executive Tom Penn and former Hornets GM Jeff Bowen. More names surfacing only make sense, given that the appeal of managing this team as currently constructed is a much more appealing option than it would’ve been two weeks ago when the team’s only star was Andre Iguodala and Kwame Brown was slated to start at center.
Zarren has been a relatively unknown part of Danny Ainge’s successful front office, building a championship-winning team several years ago and creating a basketball dynasty that last year made it to the Eastern Conference Finals and nearly knocked off the Miami Heat. His job as Ainge’s “right-hand man” (h/t Amick) makes him a perfect candidate to right Philly’s front office woes and possibly continue to build off of the Bynum trade using next year’s big-time free agent class.
As ESPN’s John Hollinger points out, adding Zarren would be a huge boost:
Michael Zarren would be an absolutely fantastic hire for Philly. Better yet, if hired, he might actually have a photo at next
— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) August 18, 2012
As Bill Simmonds comically notes, the Sixers have made a surprising change for the better:
Whoa, the Sixers are considering Mike Zarren for their GM job? That would actually be a good move! Who woke up the Sixers?
— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) August 18, 2012
Let’s just hope Zarren considers this job worth the price of admission.
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