In this morning’s edition of Inside Pass on The Athletic, Shams Charania offered some insight into how the Philadelphia 76ers are moving forward with both their head coaching search and front office evaluation. Here is the full passage regarding the Sixers:
76ers general manager Elton Brand has met with several top candidates for the franchise’s head coach opening and the team expects to bring a shortlist of candidates to the Philadelphia area within 10 days for the next round of interviews, sources said. Former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, ex-Thunder coach Billy Donovan and Clippers assistant Ty Lue are expected to be part of the next round of interviews and are strongly vying for and interested in the position, according to sources.
Philadelphia remains intent on building and adding talent under Brand to further strengthen the front office. Brand is well-respected by his peers across the NBA, agents and basketball industry executives. In addition to leading the head coaching search, Brand is having conversations with multiple NBA front-office personnel to bolster his staff. For the 76ers, Brand continues to be the leader of basketball operations.
D’Antoni, Donovan, and Lue have all been previously connected to the Sixers’ head coaching vacancy, so no surprises there. Lue was the odds-on favorite prior to D’Antoni and Donovan recently leaving their positions in Houston and Oklahoma City, respectively. However, given management’s previously rumored desire to have D’Antoni replace Brown back when he was an assistant with the Sixers for the 2015-16 season, I would probably deem him the frontrunner at this time.
Meanwhile, the bit on the Sixers focusing on adding talent under Brand is salient, as it would seem to rule out someone like Neil Olshey being brought in as a President of Basketball Operations above Brand. Reading the tea leaves, I would project this season’s front office evaluation being limited to letting Alex Rucker go and bringing someone new in to overhaul and run the analytics group. Most fans would find this to be an underwhelming response to what has not been an encouraging stint from this collaborative front office group.
We may know more about the search for a new head coach in the next 10 days, while the front office saga stretches on, with the November 18 draft less than two months away. Stay tuned.
Of the three coaching candidates mentioned, who would you prefer the Sixers hire?
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