Will Tony DiLeo be back as Sixers GM?

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Will Tony DiLeo be back as Sixers GM?

We now know the Doug Collins coaching era has come to a close with the Sixers, but can the same be said for Tony DiLeo as the team’s general manager?

DiLeo was promoted to general manager on Sept. 21, 2012, but he is under contract only through June 30.

Thursday morning, Sixers majority owner Josh Harris fielded questions from media members and the topics ranged from Andrew Bynum to Collins’ successor and who will be making decisions regarding those topics moving forward.

“We are going to run a process and ultimately we will get a lot of input from a lot of people, but at the end of the day, the GM and I will be the ultimate decision-makers,” Harris said.

Harris has a general manager in place in DiLeo. Why not use DiLeo’s name? And if DiLeo is going to be the team’s general manager in the future, why not show stability during a very unstable time and extend his contract?

Harris is jumping to no immediate decisions at this time.

“In the offseason, I believe we certainly made decisions that we all can learn from,” Harris said. “Last year, things did not work out, so everything is going to be on the table. We are going to be looking at all aspects of the organization and trying to bring a winner to Philly, so that is the way I would answer that.”

Still, there is a coach to pursue, a draft to prepare for and free agency to contemplate. Who is the basketball mind in charge? Is it former president turned consultant Rod Thorn? Or despite having an expiring contract, is DiLeo truly the man running the show?

“Rod is at this point an adviser,” Harris said. “Rod went to every game and he [knows] more about basketball than I will ever know and he is a good person to have around. He has been completely constructive and welcomed, but at the end of the day, Tony DiLeo is the GM of the team right now.”

Last summer, there were a number of people considered by the Sixers’ brass to be Thorn’s successor as GM. That list included Danny Ferry, Jeff Bower, Tom Penn and Sam Hinke, to name a few. Ferry eventually removed his name from consideration and took the GM gig with the Hawks.

Did the presence of a strong-willed Collins -- who played a role in all personnel decisions -- impact the candidates who were interested in the job? Will there be another GM search this summer and in what order are things going to be addressed?

These are all legitimate questions looking forward, but Harris is preaching patience because he wants to get things right.

“I would like to have a coach but I want to have the right coach,” Harris said. “I don’t think that will happen overnight. This is something Doug decided and it was decided very recently. So we don’t have a ready-made coach. We have to spend time and analyze a process. That’s the only way I know how to do things.”

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

WAYNE, Pa. — Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q&A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime. 

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber.