NBA rumors: Sixers to interview Tyronn Lue on Tuesday

Lue is scheduled to interview for the job on Tuesday, according to multiple sources. One has to wonder if he thinks his meeting could just be a formality and/or insurance in case former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, whose job it is to lose, doesn’t accept the job. Back on Aug. 25, the day after Brett Brown was fired, Lue was the prime candidate. He and the Sixers had mutual interest. The thought was that his recruitment for the job would pick up once the Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs.

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But it’s hard to criticize the Sixers for not hiring a qualified Black coach when, in fact, Brand, the person publicly in charge of leading the decision, is another Black male. Yet, as first noted Wednesday, this coaching search has been eye-opening for several league sources. The sources have said it’s hard to tell who’s in charge because of ownership’s earlier-than-expected involvement. Sources have been saying for weeks 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.
Now, word is leaking out that Brand is pushing hard for the Sixers to hire D’Antoni and that Embiid gave his blessing. According to multiple sources, Embiid is happy that he’ll face the basket instead of posting up in D’Antoni’s proposed five-out system. D’Antoni’s plan is to move Tobias Harris back to power forward. The Sixers will also make trades if he’s hired, according to reports. The expectation is that he’ll have a say in picking players for his freewheeling style of play.
Some are more skeptical that the interest is a two-way street. Multiple league sources who spoke with PhillyVoice have questioned whether D'Antoni is genuinely interested in the job or whether it's a leverage play to get a better deal elsewhere. There are other teams, most notably the Pacers and Pelicans, with rosters that better suit his style of basketball.
On Philadelphia's end, the interest appears legitimate. Ownership has long been a fan of D'Antoni dating back to his brief stint as an assistant on Brett Brown's staff.
Kevin O'Connor: Rumblings of Mike D'Antoni going to the Sixers have gotten much louder this past day. Nothing's final, I'm just intrigued since his preferred style isn't a fit for Philly's roster. It'd be weird. Would hiring him be a precursor to changes to modernize the team? MDA does love CP3.
Question: Any chance of getting Dawn Staley as the coach? — Deirdre Childress Hopkins from Facebook. Answer: First off, it’s great to hear from you, Deirdre, and thanks for the question. My colleague Marcus Hayes wrote recently that the Sixers should interview Staley because of her accomplishments as a player and a coach. I would hope that if the Sixers interview her that it just wouldn’t be for public relations reasons and that they would truly be considering her. I have been on record saying that I think the Sixers need somebody with NBA head-coaching experience, who can push Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid and I still think they will go that way. That doesn’t mean that somebody like Staley wouldn’t work and she would be a fascinating hire. There is always a chance the Sixers could go this route, but I don’t think it will happen.
Even as his Clippers braced to face the Nuggets in the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals beginning Thursday, Rivers sounds like he’s rooting for Lue, and happy his assistant’s name is at the top of the wish lists for the Nets. And 76ers. And whoever else. “He’s been great. He’s been great. I’m glad it is. He deserves it,” Rivers said Wednesday via Zoom. “It’s a joke that he’s not a head coach, but it’s to my advantage that he’s not.”
Golden State Warriors associate head coach Mike Brown could be in the mix for the 76ers' head-coaching vacancy. A league source says communications are happening on that front. Will he get an interview? To be determined. The Sixers fired Brett Brown on Monday after seven seasons. The organization is looking for a veteran coach to push All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Tyronn Lue is a candidate for the Sixers job. Multiple sources have said Lue and the Sixers have mutual interest. Lue would bring an NBA-championship resume (Cavaliers, 2016). He also won consecutive NBA titles as a reserve guard for the Lakers in 2000 and 2001. His second title came against the Sixers.
The Sixers plan for a head coach will focus on LA Clippers assistant Ty Lue, sources said. Lue won a championship in 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers' head coach, and his ability to challenge and command the respect of high-level players makes him attractive to the Sixers -- and others -- in this job market.
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March 3, 2021 | 5:50 am EST Update
It’ll be a buyout. This is a given. It’ll be a buyout at some point. When they get to that stage, and he’s a free agent, he’s still a guy who is a really smart player, who has become a really great playmaker late in his career, a great passer out of the post and on the perimeter, who can still get by some guys, can knock down a jumper and has a little bit of range. So I think he can be a useful player—a rotation guy. But not a starter on a good team, likely a bench guy. And we can talk about possible destinations, but I think there are a few times that could use him.
With New York on track for its first winning season and playoff appearance since the 2012-2013 season, a lot of teams and players around the league have taken notice. In fact, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed on his podcast that he believes an All-Star caliber player would demand a trade to the Knicks within the next 12 months. While Windhorst declined to name a specific All-Star player, he added that he has guesses about which players could potentially be lured to play in the Big Apple. He cited several reasons as to why players would want to play for the Knicks, from its status as one of the league’s biggest markets, the team’s collection of draft picks, and sizeable cap space that could be used to sign more players.
As James Harden prepares to face his former team for the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, the superstar guard reflected on his eight-year tenure with the Houston Rockets and said that when he enters Houston’s Toyota Center on Wednesday night (7:30 ET on ESPN), he hopes to be “received with love.” “The love and the appreciation that I’ve given to that city and that I still give to that city, I’m hoping that the favor can be returned,” Harden told ESPN in a wide-ranging interview.
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