CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: General Manager Elton Brand of the Philadelphia 76ers speaks at the podium prior to the team unveiling a sculpture to honor Charles Barkley at their practice facility on September 13, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey. (
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand has emerged as a candidate for the same position with the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks president Leon Rose is interested in Philadelphia 76ers general manager serving the Knicks in the same position. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News was the first to report the story, speaking to a league source.

Brand, 41, has been the Sixers’ GM since September of 2018. His tenure has been defined by blockbuster moves to build around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Brand made the trades for Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler during the 2018-19 season, although Harris would re-sign while Butler dipped for Miami.

He also added veteran Al Horford last offseason, which is looking like a questionable move thus far.

Since taking over the front office in the City of Brotherly Love, Brand’s team made a trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Were it not for Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer-beater last year, Philadelphia would have advanced further. The point is early on, his teams have looked good.

JB’s take

As for the Knicks, Elton Brand would be an excellent fit. He spent 17 years in the league after the Chicago Bulls drafted him out of Duke in 1999 and played for five teams. Brand is also a former Rookie of the Year, was a two-time All-Star in his career, and only retired back in 2016.

Simply put, he understands what it’s like to be a player in today’s fast-paced NBA.

But more importantly, Brand is a great candidate for the Knicks’ GM job because he’s a New Yorker. He grew up in nearby Peekskill, in Westchester County, just about 50 miles north of the heart of New York City. If there’s anyone who knows New York and how to revive basketball there, it could be Brand.

However, there are some obstacles in the way. First, Brand is under contract with Philadelphia for next year and Sixers management seems pleased with his performance. New York, meanwhile, still has Scott Perry under contract. However, as Bondy points out, Perry was a Steve Mills hire. With Rose now in charge, some new blood might be necessary.

One way or another, this isn’t a decision that will be made overnight. The NBA season is still suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so all the Knicks can really do is research potential candidates. Until play starts up again, personnel decisions will have to wait.

But in the case of the Knicks, Elton Brand would be a strong hire. He is not just a former player, but one who was a star early in his career. If there’s anyone who can lure players to New York in this player-friendly NBA, he’s certainly someone to consider.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.