Bryan Colangelo finally has another voice to add to the chorus in the Raptors front office.
Fulfilling a promise he made a few months ago, Colangelo, the Raptors president and general manager, has added an experienced voice to his staff with the addition of Ed Stefanski as the team’s new executive vice-president of basketball operations.
According to several sources, the Raptors could formally introduce the former general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers and a long-time NBA executive as early as Thursday morning.
Stefanski’s specific duties remain unclear — the team had no official comment on the impending addition — but he will report to Colangelo in a changed Toronto front office.
The married father of four, who worked almost a decade with the New Jersey Nets before joining the Sixers, joins what will be an entirely revamped Raptors front office whenever the 2011-12 NBA season begins.
Maurizio Gherardini, Toronto’s senior vice-president at the start of last season, will have new duties — based in Europe, according to a source — and senior director of scouting Jim Kelly will also have a new job description.
Both were given one-year contract extensions last summer, after Colangelo had decided to add a new face to the team’s hierarchy.
Add in the departure of Masai Ujiri, who left as director of global scouting in Toronto to become the executive vice-president of basketball operations for the Denver Nuggets and there are holes to be filled.
Former head coach Jay Triano has been bumped upstairs as a consultant to Colangelo and Marc Eversley remains as assistant general manager and one of Colangelo’s most trusted advisers, but there has been a void to be filled.
But even with the new structure, there will be little substantial change to Colangelo’s role. He will still have the final say in all significant player transactions while having a hand in almost everything to do with the basketball side of the operations
Stefanski has been long linked to the Raptors job. He, San Antonio Spurs executive Dennis Lindsay, New Orleans general manager Jeff Bower and Kevin Pritchard, a former Portland executive and current front office employee of the Indiana Pacers, were the four most reported names in Colangelo’s search.
Stefanski was fired by Philadelphia’s new owners last week after months of speculation. He had been with the team since December 2007, and had lost the title of president in 2010 when the club hired his former boss, Rod Thorn, from the Nets.
Stefanski’s notable moves in his four years as a Sixers executive include signing Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand to long-term contracts and bringing back Allen Iverson. He also fired coaches Maurice Cheeks and Eddie Jordan before hiring Doug Collins last season.
Stefanski was Nets general for three years prior to joining the Sixers and co-ordinated the trade that saw Vince Carter leave the Raptors.