Mike D'Antoni has been the most consistent name in Sixers news lately, and his stay in Philadelphia grows ever closer to its conclusion. According to a report from ESPN's Marc Stein, coinciding with initial reporting from the Houston Chronicle, D'Antoni is now a leading candidate for the Rockets head coaching position.
Let's kick it over to Stein:
Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that D'Antoni has emerged as a leading candidate for the post, having impressed Rockets owner Leslie Alexander in multiple conversations since the search began. Alexander vowed to ESPN last month during the playoffs that he would take a more active role in this coaching search than he has in the past.
The Houston Chronicle on Wednesday labeled D'Antoni as the front-runner for the post. One source close to the process told ESPN that the Rockets' search had not yet progressed to that point but did say D'Antoni was indeed gaining steam in the search for a successor to Kevin McHale and interim replacement J.B. Bickerstaff.
After lots of early speculation about Brett Brown potentially losing his job if D'Antoni was heavily courted by other teams, it appears as though the future of the current Sixers head coach is not tied to Mr. Pringles' doppelganger. Having selected Brown to be the franchise's lottery representative, Bryan Colangelo has indicated his security through both words and actions.
All the same, I would be a little disappointed if D'Antoni got away so soon. Brown's coaching chops have yet to be determined, and the loss of a bright offensive mind would be a blow to the staff even if you don't want to see him rise above the top assistant position. Other flashy candidates stand between D'Antoni and a possible job in Houston, including current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy, but we'll reach a conclusion to this saga soon enough.
As his security crystalizes and a No. 1 pick looms, Brett Brown has to be sleeping well for the first time in a while.
UPDATE: Less than 10 minutes after this post went up, Woj has spoken. Things look to be progressing quickly:
As Rockets move toward formal offer to Mike D'Antoni, organization working to shape strong staff around him, sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) May 19, 2016