After a rapid courtship and negotiation, Doc Rivers has reached agreement on a deal to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told ESPN on Thursday. Rivers’ deal with the Sixers comes only three days after departing the LA Clippers — and returns him to the Atlantic Division where he’ll be a principal rival of the Boston Celtics, where Rivers won an NBA title in 2009 as coach.
Sixers general manager Elton Brand reached out to Rivers and his agent, Lonnie Cooper, on Monday, gauging interest in the Sixers job and soon had Rivers had on a flight to Philadelphia where meetings with Brand, owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, on Wednesday had the sides moving quickly toward negotiating a multi-year deal.
Sixers assistant coach Kevin Young also interviewed for the head coaching job, and he made a strong impression on the organization, sources said. The Sixers also interviewed Clippers assistant Ty Lue this week, sources said, but Lue is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Rivers with the Clippers. The Clippers are planning to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: After a rapid courtship and negotiation, Doc Rivers has reached agreement on a deal to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Rivers connected quickly with GM Elton Brand and Sixers ownership in Wednesday's meetings and sides moved quickly toward negotiating a multi-year deal that culminated with a formal agreement minutes ago, sources said.
Former Clippers coach Doc Rivers has touched down in Philadelphia, arriving in the city on Wednesday afternoon at 4:20 p.m. (see video above). A source tells me that he'll be interviewing for the Sixers' head coaching job tonight.
Philadelphia 76ers ownership -- including Josh Harris and David Blitzer -- will meet with Doc Rivers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night on the franchise's head-coaching job, sources tell ESPN. Rivers talked earlier Wednesday with general manager Elton Brand.
This coaching search has been eye-opening for several league sources. They’ve said it’s hard to tell who’s in charge due to ownership’s earlier-than-expected involvement. Sources have been saying since last week that the job is D’Antoni’s to turn down. They say he’s the guy the ownership group wants. One source even said the 69-year-old would have to bomb his interview with the Sixers owners not to be offered the job.
Time will tell what happens with the coaching job left vacant when Brett Brown was fired on Aug. 24. However, league sources said questions about the Sixers' first-office structure have concerned some qualified would-be candidates. They were also concerned that Embiid’s close relationship with ownership would have an impact on a coach’s authority. Another concern was Embiid and Ben Simmons being empowered to think they have a hand in the coaching hire. The sources also wonder who’s actually in charge, even though the Sixers keep saying it’s Brand.
Has Mike D’Antoni really emerged as the front-runner for the 76ers' head-coaching vacancy even though his style doesn’t fit the team? Or is this just a smokescreen? Multiple league sources say it’s for real. Sources have confirmed the team will interview the former Houston Rockets coach in the coming days. One source said the interview could come as early Wednesday. However, Sixers sources denied D’Antoni would interview that day. Asked if he would interview Thursday, sources said the dates of interviews have yet to be determined.
However, a league source said Tuesday that D’Antoni was preparing to head to this area to interview for the job.
But a league source said the job could be D’Antoni’s to lose. The source said the 69-year-old would have to bomb his interview with the Sixers owners not to be offered the job, and said D’Antoni is the candidate they want. A team source denied that, saying the ownership won’t know who it wants until candidates are interviewed.
Some might think the coach and the Sixers' mutual attraction was a negotiating ploy for both parties, and that the Sixers could use interest in D’Antoni as a way to lower Lue’s asking price of $7 million and D’Antoni could use the Sixers' interest as a way to raise his price tag. But sources are saying he backed away from the Pacers gig because the Sixers' interest is real.
Adrian Wojnarowski: D’Antoni will be considered among a group of candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers coaching opening, sources tell ESPN. D'Antoni was an assistant for several months under Brett Brown before accepting the Rockets job four years ago.
Howard Beck: It's been suggested to me that (Philadelphia) is where Mike D'Antoni would prefer to land. Suggested to me, I'm not saying that anybody's saying this definitively.
Dawn Staley is happy with her current job as the head women's basketball coach at the University of South Carolina. But if the Philadelphia 76ers were to show interest in hiring her as their next head coach, she wouldn't ignore those calls. According to a source close to the USC women's basketball program, WACH FOX has been told that Staley would be open to having discussions with her hometown team if they were to reach out to her.
In the column, Staley told Hayes via text that she would "rather be in the stands than on the bench" when it comes to the 76ers. But on Sunday, less than a week after Hayes' column was published, a second source close to the situation told WACH FOX that to Staley, the idea of not only coaching in her hometown but breaking barriers for women in the NBA would be one "she'd definitely entertain."
It is believed that the franchise remains committed to building around All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, with the likely onus on figuring out the proper dynamics — on and off the floor — in the hands of the next coach. Keep an eye on the following potential coaching candidates, according to sources: 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Clippers assistant Ty Lue, Villanova’s Jay Wright, and former Grizzlies and Kings coach Dave Joerger.
September 23, 2021 | 4:49 am EDT Update
The Sixers would be best served if Simmons and Paul rethink their plans, though Simmons “is clearly aware of sanctions available to the organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary,” according to Wojnarowski. An NBA source said Wednesday that Simmons initially asked for a trade at the draft combine in Chicago “right after” the end of the 2020-21 season. The Game 7 home loss to the Hawks occurred on June 20, with the combine running from June 21-27.
Simmons has apparently already received $8.25 million of his 2021-22 salary, with another $8.25 million due if he’s on the roster Oct. 1. The Sixers aren’t saying what they plan to do or if they must make that payment when, barring a dramatic shift, Simmons follows through with his holdout, according to the source.
Rather than increasing Simmons’ value in a trade, the Sixers’ preference is for Simmons to report and play this season in Philadelphia, according to an NBA source. Rivers said the same thing Wednesday: “We would love to have Ben back.”
Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson: 76ers retiring Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merion No. 33 like Heat retired MJ’s No. 23 ‘interesting idea’ @ScottONeil tells @BallySports: “That’s something that @dmorey & @DocRivers & Elton will weigh on for sure. That’s something that Chris Heck the President of 76ers will weigh on.”
September 23, 2021 | 2:02 am EDT Update
The Warriors recently connected Wiggins with an Oakland doctor who understands issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy, sources said. The doctor explained the suffering and deaths she has witnessed in patients who contracted the coronavirus, sources said, but Wiggins remains unmoved in his decision against vaccination.
San Francisco requires full vaccination to be allowed indoors for entertainment, including large events like NBA games at 18,000-seat Chase Center. New York City is the only other NBA market currently facing such restrictions. League sources believe the NBA will grant Wiggins a religious exemption, but San Francisco has the power to override it inside the city.