Sixers New GM Jeff Copeland faces a huge uphill battle in his first stint as a GM in the NBA. The Sixers are coming off of 23-59 record the Sixers had the worst record in basketball last year. “I’m under no delusions as to what I have stepped into here. A guy like me gets a chance like this because most people in this game didn’t want this job. I love a challenge though” Copeland said as he sat down for a very candid interview.
Coach Stephen Hunter was retained after his disappointing first year. Rumors abounded that the new GM might be looking to replace Hunter with his guy, but Copeland said “Hunter did not have the tools to field the type of team that would show what kind of coach he actually is. I felt that I could bring in a roster that Hunter could win with.”
Copeland went right to work doing just that. In his first draft he picked 6’8” Small Forward Matthew Cuomo out of Idaho. “We liked Cuomo’s perimeter shooting ability along with his willingness to go get rebounds on both ends of the court. His jump shot needs to improve but otherwise he is a polished player that will be expected to contribute this year”
The Sixers ownership opened up their pocketbooks for Copeland and he did not hesitate to spend in the Free Agent market. Shooting Guard Jordan Clarkson, Power Forward JJ Hickson Small Forward Richard Jeferson, and lastly Small Forward Evan Turner joined the Sixers through free agency. Jefferson and Clarkson join on 1 year deals. Hickson, Turner and Clarkson will all start this year. They will be joined by Joel Embiid at Center and Kendall Marshall will start at Point Guard. “I expect that Jefferson, Jahil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, T.J McConnell and Cuomo will all see significant time off the bench” Copeland added.
When asked what he felt their identity was Copeland said “We are going to play fast paced offense with tough in your face defense. If you take our big men out of the game, then we have the shooters to hurt you from outside.” When asked what he expected out of this team this year Copeland said “I’ll be very disappointed if we have any ping pong balls this year.”