The 76ers’ era of newness officially begins Wednesday when the Sixers face the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center. They have a new coaching staff, 10 new players, a new president of basketball operations, several new executives, and a new vibe.
Gone is seven-year coach Brett Brown.
In steps Doc Rivers, who’s an NBA champion and 11th all-time on the career wins list.
Gone is executive Alex Rucker, who had a hand in several of the front-office blunders.
In steps president Daryl Morey, one of the most recognizable executives in professional sports.
Gone are Al Horford and Josh Richardson.
In step sharpshooters Seth Curry and Danny Green and standout big man Dwight Howard.
Here’s a look back at the transactions that will shape the 2020-21 Sixers.
Brown fired after quick playoff exit
He survived a 10-72 record in his third season. He outlasted two general managers and briefly was interim GM before one of his former players, Elton Brand, became his third GM. He took a team from 28 wins in 2016-17 to 52 the next season. He led the Sixers to three consecutive NBA playoff appearances.
The team that he repeatedly proclaimed was “built for the playoffs” was swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics.
The sweep came after a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Eastern Conference.
Doc Rivers is hired
The Sixers were intent on hiring former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni.
Unfortunately for D’Antoni, the Clippers surprisingly fired Rivers on Sept 28. Two days later, Rivers was in the Philadelphia area interviewing with the Sixers for the coaching vacancy.
Rivers brings a league-wide credibility. He instantly becomes the face and the voice of the franchise.
Rivers received a five-year contract, so there’s an investment in him. It comes as no surprise that he has say in staff decisions and brought people with him.
Annemarie Loflin, the Sixers’ chief of staff to the head coach, is one of the most notable additions who accompanied Rivers. She has been with him since his time as the Orlando Magic head coach in the early 2000′s. She followed him to the Celtics and to the Clippers, where she was the chief of staff of basketball operations.
Sixers add two big front-office hires
The Sixers solved some of their biggest issues with the hiring of Indiana Pacers senior vice president Peter Dinwiddie and Orlando Magic director of scouting Prosper Karangwa.
Dinwiddie came in as the executive VP of basketball operations. That title was held by Alex Rucker, who was let go months later. Karangwa serves as the VP of player personnel. The office also added former St. Joseph’s and Chester High legend Jameer Nelson a couple of weeks later. Nelson will be a scout and and assistant GM of the Delaware Blue Coats.
Daryl Morey hired as president of basketball operations
Word leaked that the Sixers would hire Daryl Morey as president of basketball operations and that he would be the team’s top decision maker. His five-year deal became official on Nov. 1.
And GM Brand received a three-year extension.
With Rivers and Morey, the Sixers get experience and an upgrade. High-profile executives such as Morey and Toronto boss Masai Ujiri do not come available often, so managing partner Josh Harris acted quickly and hired Morey, as he did with Rivers.
During Morey’s 13 years as GM in Houston, the Rockets qualified for the playoffs 10 times. They were playoff participants in each of the last eight seasons, the longest current NBA streak.
Morey had resigned in Houston two weeks earlier.
Tyrese Maxey selected in first round; Josh Richardson traded for Seth Curry
The team used the 21st pick in the draft to select Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey. Afterward, the Sixers traded the 36th pick and Josh Richardson to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Seth Curry.
Then with the 49th pick, they drafted Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe, one of the best three-point shooters in college. And ended a great draft day by selecting former DePaul forward Paul Reed at No. 58.
In Curry, the Sixers get a player who is shooting 44.3% on three-pointers in 256 career games. He is the younger brother of Golden State’s Steph Curry and the son-in-law of Sixers coach Doc Rivers.
Curry, who is set to make $7.8 million this season, has three years remaining on his contract. Richardson is making $10.9 million this season and has a player option for $11.6 million in 2021-22.
Dwight Howard added as Embiid’s backup
The team announced that Dwight Howard signed a one-year guaranteed veteran’s minimum contract of $2.56 million.
The move reunited Howard with Morey. In Houston, Morey signed Howard to a three-year, $70 million free-agent deal in July 2013.
From the start, Howard has been a team guy. He has spoken of doing whatever it takes to help the Sixers win a championship. And the 18th-year veteran talked of mentoring Joel Embiid not just through words but with actions.
Howard averaged career lows of 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks as the Lakers’ backup center. Yet it was his most gratifying season in that he won an NBA title.
“So, what really matters is holding up that trophy,” Howard said. “And that would be my message to everybody on the team. What are you willing to give up to get the trophy?”
Trade of Al Horford for Danny Green is made official
The Sixers agreed to a multi-player trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 18, but it didn’t become official until Dec. 8.
They acquired Danny Green, Terrance Ferguson, and Vincent Poirier from the Thunder in exchange for Al Horford, a protected 2025 first-round pick, Theo Maledon (the 34th pick in the draft) and the rights to Vasilije Micic.
The Sixers also gained an $8.2 million trade exception in the deal.
This move enabled the Sixers to get out from under Horford’s massive contract. The 34-year-old had three seasons left on the four-year, $97 million guaranteed contract he signed in free agency in July 2019.
In Green, the Sixers added a much-needed veteran. He has established himself as one of the league’s top three-and-D players while playing alongside elite talent in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis over stops with four teams in 11 seasons.
Green also has a knack for winning NBA titles. He played for NBA champion Lakers last season and also won it with the 2019 Toronto Raptors and 2014 San Antonio Spurs.