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.
December 5, 2020 | 8:42 pm EST Update
Ujiri is a pending free agent again. His eighth season with the team is also the final year of his current contract, and all signals are that he is in no rush to sign an extension. The people he works for? They would have signed him yesterday if they could. “I can promise you, it’s not [MLSE],” said a source with knowledge of the ownership’s thinking. “They’d have to be nuts not to [want to sign him]. It’s not like there’s a Plan A and a Plan B. There’s only Plan A, and it’s him. But he’s a very deliberate guy, and the kind of guy you have to respect his space.”
The two sides haven’t talked in depth about his contract since February, according to sources. “I think there’s just been so much that I know I’ve pushed it out ’til I think we get through a lot of this,” he said Saturday. “There’s just so much going on with this relocation and the focus, and I don’t want to be distracted that way.”
In conversations with other NBA executives and other league insiders, the consensus is his track record — his teams have made 10 consecutive playoff appearances and averaged more than 50 wins — and league-wide profile, combined with the leverage he has, will almost certainly make him the highest-paid executive in the league for now and into the foreseeable future. The bidding will start at $12 million a year.
“He was high on Philly’s list before I took the job,’’ Doc Rivers told The Post. “It was one of the guards they wanted. When I took the job, I said, ‘You don’t want that. You got too many other things we have to deal with.’ For Austin it’s better. He’s his own player. Unfortunately for him, me being the dad, he’s just an easy guy to target. I have felt since the separation, it’s been really good for him.’’
“I kept telling him, ‘New York is a great place,’ ’’ Doc Rivers said. “I had a great experience there. That’s what I shared with him. It’s a tough city — in a positive way. He said, ‘What do you mean by that?’ I said, ‘It’s similar to Boston and Philly. Their fans are real. They want you to play hard, give you everything you can and play like a team.’ told him, ‘The Knicks fans are still Red Holzman’s Knicks fans. They remember how that basketball was played. They want team basketball, hard-nosed, tough basketball.’ ”
Tristan Thompson has only been a Celtic since November, but it appears he’s wanted the Celtics to win their 18th title well before he came to Boston. A tweet Thompson sent out in 2010 resurfaced this week, in which Thompson made it clear on which NBA team he was a fan of.