NBA Free Agent Rumors: Bryan Colangelo Controversy Could Affect 76ers’ Pursuit Of LeBron James, Paul George
Paul George, LeBron James, Lakers, Thunder
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

From Kyrie Irving’s trade request from LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to Kawhi Leonard’s disconnect with the San Antonio Spurs, the 2017-18 NBA season has been full of surprising storylines.

And prior to the start of the 2018 NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, there was a report by The Ringer that connected Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo to five burner accounts on Twitter.

Considering the social media profiles were used to defend Colangelo’s job performance and criticized numerous players, the team is currently investigating the situation. With Colangelo’s wife Barbara Bottini potentially involved, he faces an uncertain future in Philadelphia.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN, the team’s ownership is seriously considering dismissing Colangelo, who joined the front office in April 2016:

As a Philadelphia 76ers internal probe into anonymous Twitter accounts has become increasingly focused on the wife of president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, franchise ownership is seriously considering Colangelo’s dismissal, league sources told ESPN.

Although Colangelo has denied the allegations, one major factor that could decide his dismissal could be the team’s pursuit of James and Paul George in free agency:

Ownership fears that Colangelo’s credibility inside and outside the organization may be too badly damaged to continue his job, especially within a month of a July free-agency period when the Sixers plan to pursue superstars such as LeBron James and Paul George to partner with young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

While the Sixers have perhaps the best young core in the league led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, they have a major decision in front of them.

Even if the investigation concludes Colangelo’s wife was responsible for the Twitter accounts, it is difficult seeing any player wanting to play for the franchise.

As for the Los Angeles Lakers, they are also expected to pursue James and George in free agency. While it is certainly Plan A, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka have created a two-year window as they look to return to championship contention in the near future.

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