Sixers news: Jameer Nelson comes home to join front office

The Sixers have hired another name under Elton Brand’s front office umbrella.

After a long period of stasis, Elton Brand has finally begun to reshape his front office staff. Peter Dinwiddie was hired as VP of Basketball Operations, while Prosper Karangwa will assume the duties of VP of Player Personnel. And now, Brand will add a former player to his ranks.

According to John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Sixers have hired Jameer Nelson as a scout. He will also serve as Assistant GM of the Delaware Blue Coats — close to where Brand got his start with the organization years ago.

Nelson was born in Chester, Pennsylvania and played college hoops at St. Joseph’s. He’s a homegrown talent, and now gets to work in the NBA while staying close to his family. Nelson’s son, Jameer Jr., plays college ball at George Washington in D.C.

After the season, Brand advocated for more “basketball minds” in the front office. Nelson was a point guard in the NBA for 14 years, including an All-Star appearance with the Magic in 2009. While denigrating analytics is a worrisome tactic, Nelson does bring the practical experience Brand seemingly craves.

Nelson will presumably work under the aforementioned Karangwa, who worked in Orlando’s scouting department since 2012. Essentially replacing the departed Phil Jabour, Karangwa and Nelson will both contribute to Philadelphia and Delaware’s scouting and prospect development.

The Blue Coats could be an especially important part of Nelson’s duties. The Sixers have made good use of the Blue Coats lately. It’s where Shake Milton got a year of development before his breakout last season. It’s also where Zhaire Smith — a former top-20 pick — has spent most of his career up to this point.

As both a teacher and someone who has a first-hand understanding of talent and how to win games, Nelson should contribute amply to the Sixers’ reorganized front office. He won’t be a high-level decision maker in Philadelphia, but as an advisor to Brand and someone who can further bolster the program in Delaware, it’s hard to knock Nelson’s potential value.