Apparently, a 5-12 start was not acceptable for 76ers management. ESPN is reporting
that Billy King will be fired and replaced by Nets GM Ed Stefanski
The company line had been that the entire organization bought into King's rebuilding plan, but the slow start and non-existent crowds at the Wach. have finally taken their toll.
Stefanski will step into a pretty good situation for a GM. The rebuilding has begun, there's a burgeoning star on the roster in Andre Iguoadala, the team will have plenty of cap space next year and he's got two really valuable trading chips in Andre Miller and Kyle Korver.
I'd say no one on the team is safe, especially if Stefanski is given free reign to do as he pleases with the roster. He could trade Andre Miller and take back an expiring contract to give the Sixers even more cap space when a bevy of rookie contracts become restricted free agents after the season.
The failure to lock down Andre Iguodala to an extension before the season may also have had something to do with King's departure, I doubt we'll ever know.
It's too early to get perspective on King's tenure as GM, but on first blush you'd have to think he won't be fondly remembered. Yes, he brought Iguodala in through the draft, he got Kyle Korver for cash and the second round pick of Lou Williams may turn out to be a steal, but for every Iguodala there's a Willie Green. For every Korver, a Rodney Carney. Then there's the wasted picks like Byars this year.
I'm not as down on this team as most people seem to be, but I have to say a new direction is definitely welcome. Hopefully, Stefanski won't be afraid to make bold moves and use the chips he has and the money at his disposal in the offseason to accelerate this rebuilding process and get the Sixers back to the playoffs sooner rather than later.
King's time probably ran out as soon as Allen Iverson left town, maybe earlier. I just hope, in the long run, he didn't do a great disservice to this franchise with his handle of the 2007 draft. I like what I've seen so far from Thad Young, but he wasn't exactly a popular choice. Hopefully Young and Jason Smith will be parting gifts from King to the fans, rather than a sad reminder of the mess he made.