Did the Philadelphia 76ers make a mistake by not finding Rod Thorn's replacement before the draft? As a fan, that is a question that I have been wondering about a lot lately. For several weeks now, the 76ers have made it clear that they are searching for Thorn's replacement. Though that doesn't mean that Thorn was being forced out right away, it does mean that he isn't part of the team's long term plans. As a fan, I can't help but feel that the team made a mistake by not having someone in place by now. It's not that I'm opposed to having Thorn help in the draft process. I just think that the new guy should have been there as well.
Since announcing plans to find Thorn's successor in early June, the team set a plan into motion that was fairly unusual in sports. The team president wasn't being fired, but his replacement was being found. Obviously, that meant that Thorn wouldn't be with the 76ers beyond next season. So why not find the new guy before the draft? I'm not saying that Thorn wouldn't act in a professional manner and do what's best for the team even though his days are numbered, but the new guy's input should have been just as valuable. You can make the case that the 76ers are doing themselves a disservice by not having solved this situation by now.
At first, I was intrigued by the prospect of having both Thorn and the new team president working together in the draft room. I thought that the extra mind could have been great for the 76ers. However, that won't happen barring a major move in the hours leading up to the draft. Instead, the team is leaving the draft in the hands of an outgoing president that has done little to impact the team in the last two seasons. While I believe that the team can make the right moves on draft night, I will always question how smart this strategy was. Once the 76ers announced that they were looking for a new front office guy, they owed it to everyone to settle things before the draft. For the first time, this new ownership group dropped the ball.
Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and lifelong 76ers fan.
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- Rod Thorn