Having endured three painful seasons under Sam Hinkie's process, Brett Brown will return for a fourth season as the Sixers' head coach.
"Brett Brown deserves the opportunity," Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said Thursday morning on Comcast SportsNet's Breakfast on Broad. "He toed the company line the last three years. He's done everything this organization needs him to do. He's been in the community coaching clinics, coaching kids. He's a lifer. He's a basketball guy. I'd like to get to know him, so I told the ownership Brett Brown is coach of this basketball team going forward."
So, for now at least, end the speculation that Brown will be let go less than a year after agreeing to a two-year extension that runs though the 2018-19 season. His original contract with the Sixers ran through next season.
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A source told Tom Moore of The Intelligencer that there's a "50-50" chance that Brown returns next season and only a 20 percent chance Brown finishes next season as the Sixers' head coach.
The logical replacement for Brown was associate head coach Mike D'Antoni, who was brought in by Jerry Colangelo off a recommendation from his son.
"Speculate all you want," Bryan Colangelo said. "Mike D'Antoni is a great basketball mind. He's really offensive oriented, and I think Brett is more defensive oriented. That's a good blend, a good combination.
"I think it's a great combination, and there's good chemistry (from) what I've seen so far in the two or three days that I've been involved."
Brown deserves the chance to show he can coach an actual team, not just the collection of big-name and no-name kids he's had the past three years.
Three days after Colangelo's introductory press conference, the Sixers mercifully completed a 10-72 season, the most painful of the three since Hinkie was hired. Now changes must be made; the Sixers cannot afford another teen-win season. Otherwise, Brown may opt to leave on his own.
"We're going to look to win basketball games," Colangelo said. "We're going to do everything possible to create a winning culture. The process that everyone's been through has been painful. It's been quite actually quite a courageous process to go through. It's not easy, but it was the right thing to do to get to this point, where we're at a jumping off (point)."
Now Colangelo needs to capitalize on the assets Hinkie compiled. The Sixers possibly could have as many as four first-round picks in this year's draft, and if the rims are super friendly, they could have the first and fourth picks (more on that here).
"One reason I thought this was such an interesting opportunity was because of the tools and the resources that are in place," Colangelo said. "It's really a blank slate. I think Coach Brown and I are on the same page in so many different areas. I'm excited. The summer's here. The losing season is behind us. We're moving forward in a positive fashion."
Had the Sixers won the lottery in the last three years, Colangelo might not be here. But they didn't, Nerlens Noel and Joel Okafor are still developing, Joel Embiid is still healing, Dario Saric is still overseas, and there's still a major void in the backcourt.
Colangelo needs to find a franchise cornerstone.
"I think you're still in the process of finding that star player," Colangelo said. "We don't have any star players right now. There's a couple players who could develop into that, but it's really early in the process with their development."
Unfortunately for the Sixers as a whole, it's no longer early in the process for them.