The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to a deal promoting assistant general manager Tony DiLeo to GM under president Rod Thorn, a league source told CBSSports.com Friday.
Thorn will stay in his role for the time being and ultimately will be replaced by DiLeo under the team's previously agreed upon succession plan, the source said. Managing partner Joshua Harris also intends to add to the Sixers' front office in the future, with an emphasis on analytics for that role.
DiLeo has been with the Sixers for more than two decades and previously served as the team's interim head coach. He was promoted to senior vice president for basketball operations in 2003 and took over as interim coach after a 9-14 start in 2008-09, coaching the Sixers to a 32-27 record the rest of the way.
The Sixers also interviewed former Trail Blazers executive Tom Penn and former Hornets executive Jeff Bower, among others. They also had exploratory talks with Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri, who mutually decided with Nuggets ownership to stay the course in Denver, league sources told CBSSports.com.
The Sixers were prepared to ask permission to interview Ujiri, one of the rising stars of the NBA's executive ranks, but were rebuffed, one of the sources said. An offer was never extended, according to another source who downplayed the extent of Philly's pursuit, first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Ujiri has substantially remodeled and upgraded the Nuggets' roster since trading Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks in February 2011. He also managed to get involved in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and earned the respect of his peers by winding up with Andre Iguodala in the deal while also moving future salary.
With one year left on his contract, the Nuggets will have to step up with an extension offer. Preliminary conversations already have occurred, but some of Ujiri's peers are skeptical that the Nuggets will be willing to step up and pay anything close to what the Sixers would've offered -- which multiple sources estimated at close to $2 million a year.