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Bryan Colangelo Becomes Aggressive as Sixers Turn a New Page

Bryan Colangelo

When the official announcement about the Philadelphia 76ers trading with the Boston Celtics for the number one overall pick in this year’s draft came out, the front office officially transitioned from passive to aggressive, and from “trusting the process” to “measuring the progress.”

The Philadelphia 76ers finished a complicated and confusing 2016-2017 season with a 28-54 record.

Last year’s first overall pick, Ben Simmons, broke a bone in his foot before the season began and had to have surgery to repair the Jones Fracture that he suffered. This kind of injury usually is associated with a three or four month timetable, but instead Simmons missed the entirety of the 2016-2017 season. The majority of people in the Sixers’ fanbase believe that Colangelo held Simmons out longer than he needed in an attempt at getting as high of a pick as possible.

With the Joel Embiid situation, things get more complicated. Embiid originally injured his knee in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers in late January. However, it wasn’t until late February that the team announced what the injury was and that Embiid would be out for the season. Embiid had suffered a partial meniscus tear in his left knee, and he didn’t have surgery on it until late March. The timetables going along with Embiid’s injury were mishandled and arguably, Embiid might possibly have been able to come back before the season ended.

Both of these situations and, especially the way they were handled by general manager Bryan Colangelo, show a passive attitude being shown by the Sixers’ front office. Colangelo and the rest of the front office were tanking and being passive in an attempt to get a higher draft pick in this week’s NBA draft.

Fast forward a couple months to the present time and you have a complete change of attitude and direction that the 76ers front office is taking.

The Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo said on Monday afternoon, “Thursday night will see us take another significant step toward building a successful and sustainable basketball program.”

The significant step that Colangelo is talking about began with a single move when he successfully orchestrated a trade with the Boston Celtics to move up from the third spot to the first spot in the NBA draft. In addition to swapping draft picks this season, Colangelo gave up one of two first round draft picks that the Sixers hold over the next two years, but both picks had protections on them (as outlined in the photo below).

The 76ers presumably traded up in the draft to have the opportunity to select Washington guard Markelle Fultz. Fultz, a combo guard, has the ability to fit perfectly with Ben Simmons, the presumed point guard, and he can shoot the ball well from anywhere on the court. This move shows a massive change in attitude from Bryan Colangelo because he saw the player that he wanted to draft and he went out and did what it took to get him.

Add in that in the days leading into the draft, the Sixers have been rumored to be in trade talks to bring in a big name player (Kristaps Porzingis, Kevin Love) and you have yourself an aggressive general manager that wants to begin making progress in turning the team into a top contender in the NBA. The aggressiveness shown by the team’s general manager shows that he is ready to take the next step in the process, winning games.

Progress was already beginning to show in the 2016-2017 season as players like Joel Embiid and Dario Saric made their marks on the team. Embiid, while only playing a meager 31 games, put up averages that made every Sixers fan excited. He, in 25.4 minutes per game, averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while bringing an energetic and fun attitude to change the mindset of the Philadelphia 76ers. Fellow rookie Dario Saric, in 81 games and 26.3 minutes per game, averaged 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists, but his numbers took a huge leap when he began to get time in the starting lineup towards the end of the season.

With the aggressiveness shown by general manager Bryan Colangelo in going out and getting his man, steps were taken to form the core of hopefully the next top team in the NBA. Adding in this draft pick is the final step in taking this team into the win now mode that Sixers fans have been dreaming off for a long time. The aggressiveness of the Sixers’ front office so far this offseason goes hand in hand with turning the page from trusting the process to trusting the progress, and it is time for the Sixers to begin taking over the NBA.

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