While the Philadelphia 76ers reportedly have a handful of names on their list to replace Doc Rivers as head coach, former Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was the first one to reportedly have an interview set up with the team. With a 2019 NBA championship listed on his resume, Nurse is unsurprisingly drawing plenty of interest in a market that seems to have a high number of contenders or near-contenders shaking things up at the end of the bench.
Today, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Nurse is one of three finalists for the Milwaukee Bucks’ available position, after they parted ways with 2021 champion head coach Mike Budenholzer.
ESPN Sources: The Bucks are narrowing group of top candidates in franchise’s head coaching search: Nick Nurse, Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson and Toronto assistant Adrian Griffin. These coaches will be part of final conversations with Milwaukee leadership this week.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 22, 2023
Wojnarowski also followed up by reporting Nurse in still in conversations for the position in Phoenix and Philadelphia.
Nurse looms prominently in Phoenix and Philadelphia searches too, sources say.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 22, 2023
The Sixers, Suns and Bucks are the three 2023 playoff teams who are looking to fill a newly-vacant head coach position (could the Celtics soon be a fourth?). The fact that Nurse is linked to all of them speaks to how highly coveted he is among decision makers in league circles. It makes sense, then, that the Sixers already scheduled an interview with Nurse, as none of their other candidates were a finalist for the Milwaukee job. If the Sixers front office decides he’s the guy, there will be a first mover advantage before one of these other teams snap him up.
Our Paul Hudrick examined the fit of Nurse with the Sixers in a great Q&A with Raptors HQ on Friday. I don’t personally know if Nurse is the perfect guy to finally get the franchise over the hump, but if the organization reaches the conclusion that he is, we could see some news in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned.