elton brand

Sixers president and general manager Rod Thorn acknowledged Tuesday that the team has begun a search for his replacement - Danny Ferry has already interviewed for the job, according to a league source - but he added that he expected to be very much involved with, if not in control of, the June 28 draft.

“Oh, yeah,” Thorn said when reached via phone Tuesday afternoon. “We will do it the same way we did last year. I’m busy with that now, and it will be exactly the same way.”

The Sixers, who will bring in more potential draft picks for workouts Thursday and Friday, face crucial decisions. They have to decide whether they will use the amnesty provision on Elton Brand, which could allow them to gain more than $18 million in cap space and be active in free agency. Teams can begin talking with free agents July 1 and can begin signing them July 11.

Thorn, who has been in the league as a player or manager since he was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in 1963, said that when former team owner Ed Snider hired him the understanding was that Thorn, 71, would assume a consultant’s role at the end of his contract, which expires in one year.

– Reported by John N. Mitchell of theĀ Philadelphia Inquirer