Sixers front office member, assistant coach depart originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Sixers have parted ways with vice president of strategy Sergi Oliva, a source confirmed Thursday night to NBC Sports Philadelphia. He’s accepting a coaching role with the Jazz.
Assistant coach Joseph Blair has also left the organization and is joining the Timberwolves, a source confirmed. The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey was first to report the departures.
Oliva was hired in 2016 by former president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo and promoted last year from his position as the team’s senior director of analytics and strategy. He was influential in determining the Sixers’ substitution patterns and providing input based on analytics from a role on the floor during games.
Marc Eversley left his job as the Sixers’ senior vice president of player personnel in April to become the Bulls’ GM. General manager Elton Brand said in May he was “really proud” of what the Sixers had in Oliva, executive VP of basketball operations Alex Rucker, assistant GM Ned Cohen and VP of scouting Vince Rozman, but that he’d be willing to look outside of the organization to replace Eversley.
Brand’s tone was different on Aug. 25, the day after the Sixers fired Brett Brown as head coach. At that time, he promised a “thorough assessment” of the Sixers’ front office.
Daryl Morey, an executive ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowsi says the Sixers considered in 2018 before hiring Brand, stepped down as Rockets GM on Thursday. We’ll see if the Sixers now pursue Morey, the NBA’s Executive of the Year winner in 2018 and a close friend of former Sixers GM and Process originator Sam Hinkie. Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta told reporters Thursday night that if Morey takes another job in the NBA, he thinks he’ll “probably end up in the East Coast.”
Blair joined the Sixers for this season after winning the G League championship with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the 2018-19 campaign. The former Harlem Globetrotter was focused on the Sixers’ offense and pushed for spacing changes.
Another assistant under Brown, Kevin Young, left the Sixers last week to take a coaching position with the Suns. Dave Joerger agreed to join new head coach Doc Rivers’ staff on Thursday, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia.