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Why The Philadelphia 76ers Should Consider Malik Rose As Their Next General Manager

Dakota Schmidt explains why Erie BayHawks GM Malik Rose is a great candidate to tackle the Philadelphia 76ers’ open position.

Steve Harvey Hosts 2nd Annual Steve Harvey Foundation Gala In New York - Arrivals Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Steve Harvey Foundation

Earlier this week, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that General Manager Bryan Colangelo has resigned following an investigation into some questionable Twitter activity surrounding the use of multiple “burner” accounts. While it’s since been revealed that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, admitted to running those accounts, an outside law firm confirmed Bryan Colangelo was the source for her information.

Thus, the 76ers have decided to go in a different direction. Though head coach Brett Brown will oversee basketball operations on an interim basis, there’s a familiar face with plenty of NBA G League experience that Philadelphia should consider as its next General Manager.

That man is former NBA forward and current Erie BayHawks general manager Malik Rose. Shortly after ending his 14-year NBA career in 2009, the Philly native was the color commentator for the 76ers TV broadcasts from 2011-2015. He left that role in the summer of 2015 to become the manager of basketball operations for the Atlanta Hawks. After two years in that gig, he was promoted to his current position as the BayHawks General Manager.

With Rose as GM, Erie was able to pull a Vegas Golden Knights and push an expansion team to the G League playoffs. That accomplishment was due to how he was fantastic at every step that it took to create a G League team from scratch. The process started off with a bang as Atlanta signed Josh Magette to a two-way deal in July. This move was in the works since the fall of 2016, as Rose and the Hawks both had their eyes on Magette back in that year’s training camp.

It was a rewarding move for a man that’s been grinding for an NBA shot since 2013 and an especially smart decision from a G League perspective. Magette stood as arguably the league’s best facilitator when he was with the Los Angeles D-Fenders (now South Bay Lakers).

Just a few weeks after pushing the Hawks to sign Magette to a two-way deal, Rose hired former OKC Thunder and New York Knicks assistant Josh Longstaff to be the team’s head coach. The addition of Longstaff gave the BayHawks an experienced teacher that contributed to the likes of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kristaps Porzingis becoming NBA stars.

Following these two moves, Rose took another step in forming a squad as the BayHawks during the 2017 G League Expansion Draft, where they snagged minor league star Raphiael Putney. He shined as an extremely versatile player due to his great work on both ends of the floor.

Despite that talent, the BayHawks started the season off on a low note by going 5-10 in their first 15 games. However, the team slowly pushed their way out of the cellar as Putney and Magette started to rise up as the team’s leaders while DII guard Jaylen Morris stunned the G League work as a great two-way threat. That trio, combined with Rose’s efforts to acquire Jeremy Evans and John Gillon during the season, helped push Erie out of its rut and eventually finish the year at 28-22.

That record was good enough to push them past the Lakeland Magic and become the Southeast Division champions despite an early postseason exit.

Coach Longstaff’s leadership, paired with the immense talent, played a big role in Erie’s success. Still, Rose was able to create a minor league title contender without the luxury of returning players to build on. That’s most impressive.

Putney and Magette were All-Star talents before they were picked up by Erie, but the likes of Gillon and Morris are examples of Rose’s ability to spot diamonds in the rough. He recognized Gillon’s talents despite his failure to earn meaningful playing time with the Texas Legends. Rolling the dice on him paid off when the former Syracuse guard made his way to Erie and averaged 18.4 points, 5.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game on 48% from the field and 44% from deep during the month of March.

Meanwhile, Morris was an unknown Division II player when Rose spotted him last August. “Now he was one guy that I wanted form the first time that I saw him,” Rose told Ridiculous Upside back in February. “We first saw him at the G League Player Invitational this summer and the first thing that jumped out to us about him was his height and length.” Rose’s admiration was validated, as Morris shined during his time with the BayHawks. He even went on to earn a call-up to Atlanta in March.

Rose has put in the time as an NBA executive and based upon his latest body of work with Erie, the 76ers should definitely consider him for their GM vacancy. As we’ve examined in this piece, he has a lot of the qualities that NBA owners desire in a GM. He has the ability to spot diamond-in-the-rough talent and craft a great mix of players that are able to mesh and grow as a unit. Such a skillset could benefit the Sixers as they continue to build a supporting cast around that great Ben Simmons/Joel Embiid pairing.

In addition to his great basketball mind, Rose is an incredibly hard worker and no stranger to the city of Philadelphia.

When it comes to his work ethic, Rose had to balance having two separate jobs as he was the manager of basketball operations for Atlanta while also being the GM in Erie. Rose trying to maintain those two jobs sometimes turned into a day-long affair. An example of this was seen on January 24th, when he watched Erie play the Wisconsin Herd on a late Wednesday morning before flying to Toronto to watch Atlanta face the Toronto Raptors that same night.

While that definitely shows his passion for the game, Rose is also committed to providing his players with the best conditions off the court. That statement is exemplified from the following story that occurred back in early November before the BayHawks first home game.

“At the start of the season, we had a little hang up with our cleaning company so they weren’t coming in to clean the locker rooms and bathrooms,” Rose told Ridiculous Upside back in February. “So when I walked into the locker rooms on that first day, it absolutely stunk as there was trash everywhere because the bags were overflowing. After I saw that, I didn’t say a word as I went to Walmart, got some cleaning products and went to work. I was probably there cleaning for like 2-3 hours but it didn’t matter because I just knew that my guys weren’t going to be sitting in a dirty and smelly locker room.”

Last but not least, Rose was born in Philadelphia and played basketball at Overbrook High School, the same high school as Wilt Chamberlain. Perhaps more importantly are his ties to Brett Brown, as the current Sixers head coach was an assistant under Gregg Popovich when Rose was playing for the San Antonio Spurs.

If you put that trifecta of traits together, they make up unique ingredients to qualify Rose as a great candidate to become the next General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.