Report: Sixers GM Stefanski a finalist for Toronto job

Posted: July 15, 2011

With new owners in place, changes are bound to happen within the 76ers' front office. One could be happening soon.

According to a report by yahoo.com, Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski is one of three finalists for the same position with the Toronto Raptors, joining San Antonio assistant GM Dennis Lindsey and former New Orleans Hornets GM Jeff Bower.

Calls to Stefanski and Sixers president Rod Thorn were not answered late last night.

On Wednesday, the sale of the Sixers was finalized as a group headed by Joshua Harris bought the team from Comcast-Spectacor for a reported $280 million. Among those surrounding Harris is Jason Levien, a former player's agent and front office member of the Sacramento Kings. Whether his involvement with the team becomes one that overrides Stefanski remains to be seen.

Stefanski, a Penn grad, joined the Sixers in December 2007, taking over for Billy King. Within his first year he re-signed forward Andre Iguodala, signed free agent Elton Brand and fired popular coach Maurice Cheeks. Last May, he persuaded Doug Collins to come out of the analyst booth and coach the team after a horrendous season under Eddie Jordan. Collins improved the club by 14 wins and seems to be set as the foundation on which to rebuild the franchise.

Stefanski grew up in the Delaware Valley and attended and coached at Monsignor Bonner High. He played 3 years at Penn and was drafted by the Sixers in the 10th round in 1976. He never played in the NBA. He did television work covering college basketball for 20 years.

Before landing with the Sixers, Stefanski was with the Nets from 1988 to 1999 holding a variety of positions and worked closely with then Nets president Thorn.

Interestingly, Collins is a loyal man who feels incredibly indebted to Stefanski for bringing him back to the city from where he came after being drafted with the No. 1 pick in 1973. Should Stefanski go elsewhere, would that hinder Collins' future with the club?

Time will tell.

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