76ers Rumors: Spurs' R.C. Buford Targeted as GM Amid Kawhi Leonard Trade Buzz

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2018

FILE - In this April 23, 2015, file photo, San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford smiles during an NBA basketball news conference in San Antonio. Buford has been named the NBA's executive of the year, the league announced Monday, May 9, 2016. It's the second time Buford has received the honor. He previously won it in the 2013-14 season. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly targeting San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford as a potential candidate for their vacant GM spot.

According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, it is believed that the Sixers would have a difficult time getting Buford to leave San Antonio for Philly.

Per Pompey, the 76ers and Spurs are reportedly engaging in trade talks involving disgruntled Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.

Although Buford has a longstanding relationship with Leonard, it is unclear if the 27-year-old would be interested in continuing to play under the GM from a team he reportedly no longer wants to play for.

Buford has been the Spurs' general manager since 2002 and has been part of the organization since 1994.

As a member of the Spurs, he is a five-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Executive of the Year.

The Spurs have reached the playoffs in 21 straight seasons, but they were the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference last season after going just 47-35.

San Antonio's string of dominance may be coming to an end, though, especially if Leonard ends up getting traded.

Additionally, longtime Spurs guard Tony Parker left San Antonio to sign with the Charlotte Hornets, which is the end of an era in much the same way Tim Duncan's retirement was.

The 76ers parted ways with general manager Bryan Colangelo in May due to a social media scandal in which it was determined that his wife operated multiple burner accounts on Twitter to support her husband's work, criticize certain players and even release sensitive information.

Since Colangelo's departure, head coach Brett Brown has been in charge of personnel decisions.

According to Pompey, Sixers co-managing partner Josh Harris said Monday that the organization is taking its time in replacing Colangelo.

Among the top candidates to replace him aside from Buford are NBA Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki Vandeweghe, former Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin and Sixers Vice President of Basketball Operations Ned Cohen, per Pompey.