Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Posted: 6:45 p.m.
By Dei Lynam
These are busy days for Sixers team president Rod Thorn.
The NBA draft is two days away. The organization is slated to pick 16th in a draft that Thorn called pretty wide open after the first four picks. The teams current owner, Comcast-Spectacor, is in discussions with prospective new owners, led by New York native Josh Harris, who is estimated to be worth 1.5 billion. The NBAs collective bargaining agreement will expire on June 30, and to date the owners and players association remain worlds apart. And Andre Iguodala is rumored daily to be leaving the City of Brotherly Love.
All that and still Thorn is calm and forthcoming and prepared for the road that lies ahead. The possibility that the Sixers will be sold is not preventing Thorn from doing his job; as a matter of fact he says it is business as usual.
I am sure that if and when the sale is completed and there is new ownership every owner is different as to how they deal with their basketball people, Thorn said. We will have to see how that goes. But right now we are operating the way we normally do.
Thorn has had multiple conversations with various people who are said to be part of the group entertaining the idea of purchasing the team, and he would concur that those conversations are more one-sided than back and forth.
They have questions about how we do things, why we do things, what we think of our personnel, what we think we need those types of things. Information type questions, he explained.
Thorn entered the NBA through the draft in 1963 as the second overall pick by the Baltimore Bullets. Forty-eight years later he is still working in the league. He has been an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, team president and league vice president of basketball operations.
Being part of a possible change in ownership is not new to Thorn; this is his fourth such experience while working for a franchise.
Until all of the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed, you never have a deal, Thorn said. That is why I dont even want to speculate on what you guys already know because I am not privy to those conversations. You just dont know until the deal is actually signed and a lot of these things break down in the last part of them, so you never know.
Thorn admitted that the possible new owners have not divulged any information about their plans for the future when it comes to him or any of those currently employed by the organization, but when asked how things worked out for him personally in the previous three sales he was part of, he said chuckling, Some did, some didnt.
As for Iguodala, Thorn said he last talked to his star pupil three weeks ago and seemed not the least bit worried that Iguodala may be fretting over the numerous trade rumors involving his name.
I think he is used to the speculation, because in my time here, which is less than a year, there has been a lot of speculation, Thorn added. Hes a pro, and it is part of the business. He has never said that he would like to be traded to me.
If a guy wants to be moved the person to address that with would be the team president. Taking Thorn at his word, Iguodala is no more or less the center of potential trades than others on the Sixers roster.
I would say with all the speculation there have been some conversations that have involved him, but there have been conversations about other players on our team too, Thorn reiterated.
An Iguodala trade before the collective bargaining agreement expires on June 30 seems unlikely, not only because the right deal has not crossed Thorns path but also because teams are being cautious given the leagues uncertain future.
The organization has made qualifying offers to both Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes, which means whenever the time arrives both players can test the free-agent waters, but the Sixers will have the right to match any offer they receive.
We have an idea of what we think the market place is, Thorn explained. But there is always a negotiation. Players and players agents seem to think that they are at one level economically, and teams seem to think that they may be at another, so there is always a give and take, but when the time comes we will do what we think we should do in order to try and sign both of them.
E-mail Dei Lynam at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @DLynamCSN.
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