- The Sixers seem to be the most interested (currently) in Warriors assistant Mike Malone. The 76ers have contacted players who have played for Malone as well as Golden State consultant Jerry West.
- Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer is high on their list, and they have talked to former players about him as well.
- The Sixers still plan to bring Malone and Jeff Hornacek in for interviews.
To the surprise of some rival executives, the Sixers' coaching search is being spearheaded by GM Tony DiLeo, whose contract expires this summer. With team president Rod Thorn moving into a consulting role and DiLeo's contract expiring, rival execs expect the Sixers to engage in a search for a new head of basketball operations, as well. In fact, that process has already begun through back-channel conversations, one person contacted on the Sixers' behalf told CBSSports.com.
As I mentioned after the 76ers exit interviews, Joshua Harris didn't give Tony DiLeo all that ringing of an endorsement, so the fact that the 76ers ownership group is looking at possible replaecments isn't all that shocking of a development. The kicker is that, according to Ken Berger, rival executives believe that DiLeo is leading the other search, the one for a coach..
Why would you let somebody who you are actively looking to replace be the primary decision making in a coaching search? If that is true -- and every indication I had received before today was that Harris would be the one making the decision -- that seems like a serious mishap.
It's not even that the names being thrown about as the primary candidates are bad ones. Malone and Budenholzer are two names I have a lot of interest in. It's just the concern of somebody who isn't in the teams long term plans making such an important decision.
I do think there's some chance that there is more going on here than has been reported. It could be possible that DiLeo is simply doing the majority of the early legwork and that the decision will ultimately be made by Harris. It is certainly a situation that is something to watch, though. The closer DiLeo gets to his contract running out, the more speculation there will be. For everybody's sake, hopefully this gets resolved in a timely manner. As I have said in the past, the GM position is the more important of the two up in the air.