Ranked in order of who will get the job, not who should get the job.
1. Larry Brown - I'd be surprised if anyone but Larry Brown manned the Sixers' sideline next year. The writing is on the wall. We can only hope that there's another Wall in our future. That is, unless Larry Brown trades the number one (two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, or ten) pick for Flip Murray and Janero Pargo. Brown would immediately turn the Sixers into a top 10 defensive team, but they'd probably never emerge as a title contender. Larry has a reputation of salvaging a team's future for a mediocre run, then jets to the next gig. He also has the reputation of being a great coach, but he's only been to three finals (in 26 years), winning once, with a team he inherited. As they say, whoop-de-do!
2. Doug Collins - The second coolest Doug I know -- behind Doug Funnie -- has been contacted by the Sixers in search of an interview. Collins will be the first candidate interviewed by the Sixers this off-season, and if his chalk talk (how many jokes can we get out of this, really?) goes as well as Eddie Jordan's, we could be looking at our next coach. Doug is another candidate I'm not too excited about. Here's what I wrote about him in March:
Collins is my least favorite candidate. He had the privilege of coaching Michael Jordan 5 of his 8 years in the NBA, yet never made a Finals appearance. His 15-23 playoff record is wildly unimpressive. He's 58 years old. He's been out of the league for 7 years. His teams were never spectacular at anything. His offense ranked in the top 8 only once, and his defense ranked in the top 8 twice. I see absolutely nothing good that can come from signing Doug Collins. Plus, he fails in the most important category -- he's boring behind the mic.
3. Dwane Casey - According to reports, Casey was the Sixers second choice behind Eddie Jordan a season ago. He's a defensive-minded coach who got a raw deal in Minnesota. He was fired mid-season after overachieving his way to a 20-20 record with a terrible roster. He's currently an assistant with the Mavericks, he just turned 53, and he has 122 games experience as a head coach.
4. Avery Johnson - Johnson declined the Sixers job last off-season, reportedly because he wanted to be "the team's only candidate". I don't think he'll change his mind a year later. Here's what I wrote about Avery back in March:
Johnson's the youngest of our candidates and had his name in the mix this summer before the Sixers settled with Eddie Jordan. Johnson has a ridiculous winning percentage in the regular season (.735), but drops considerably in the playoffs (.489). Sadly, the two things his teams are remembered for are: blowing a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals in 2006 against the Heat, and losing to the 8-seed Golden State Warriors in the first round in 2007, after winning 67 games in the regular season. I actually really like Johnson, and if a couple things went his way, he could have one or two championship rings right now -- plus he'd still be employed.
Tom Thibodeau - His name always comes up this time a year, but he's yet to be hired by anyone. I don't see that changing. Some guys just aren't meant to be head coaches. That said, I'd love if the Sixers interviewed Tommy, at least.
Jay Wright - He's not leaving Villanova. College coaches don't have much success in the NBA anyway.
Jeff Van Gundy - According to his brother Stan, he's not interested.
Mike Budenholzer - 39 years old, 14 years as a Spurs assistant, and my favorite candidate.
Mike Fratello - Hasn't coached since 2007, TNT analyst, 667-548 career record, 85-86 coach of the year.
Sam Mitchell - 156-189 career record, 06-07 coach of the year.
Mike Woodson - Rumored to be Larry Brown's first choice, if LB becomes Sixers President.