One of the best parts of Doc Rivers’ arrival in Philadelphia was that he brought a terrific staff of assistant coaches with him. Included in that group is Sam Cassell, who served as an assistant alongside Rivers with the LA Clippers before heading to the Sixers last year.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned on a new episode of The Hoop Collective podcast that Cassell and Wes Unseld Jr. are now “two of the leading candidates” for the Washington Wizards head coach position, following the recent departure of Scott Brooks.
Ben Mehić confirmed Washington’s interest, and also noted that Cassell suits the profile of the kind of coach Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard wants.
As @WindhorstESPN reported earlier, I've heard Sam Cassell is in the mix for the Wizards' head coach position.— Ben Mehić (@BenMehicNBA) June 25, 2021
Cassell has history with the team, so that was expected. Tommy Sheppard said he wants "someone who’s a strong communicator." Cassell, certainly, is that.
Cassell got his start in coaching with the Wizards from 2009-2014. He started build a strong reputation for helping young guards after working with players like John Wall, who credited Cassell for helping him develop his overall play and jump shot.
It’s no surprise that Cassell is receiving more interest as a head coach candidate. He’s highly respected around the NBA for his successful playing career and work as an assistant coach over the last 12 years, including what he brings as a communicator and mentor. With his career in the league, experience as an assistant, and reputation for helping guards and young players, Cassell would make sense with the Wizards’ young roster, led by their Bradley Beal-Russell Westbrook backcourt.
Cassell put in a lot of time working with the Sixers’ guards this season and players spoke highly of him all year. If he does end up going for the job in Washington or a coaching position elsewhere, he’ll certainly be missed in Philly.
Rivers said after this season finished that he feels his current coaching staff is the best he’s ever had, and Cassell has been a valuable part of that. We should find out in the coming days and weeks whether he receives an offer from the Wizards that interests him.