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Shams Charania: Doc Rivers-Philadelphia 76ers coaching agreement: Five-year deal, sources say.
Joel Embiid: Welcome to the city of Brotherly Love Coach @Doc Rivers !!!! Excited for the future and what we’re building here #PhillyForever
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on the Doc Rivers news: “I’m excited for Doc and for the Sixers. He’s a great coach and great for the league. I’m happy he’s quickly back in the NBA.”
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.
Keith Pompey: Doc Rivers has agreed to take the Sixers job, sources confirm.
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.
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July 30, 2021 | 3:34 pm EDT Update
This brings up one consequence of the trade: Davis is expected to play more minutes at center next season, according to sources. It won’t be full-time, but it’s required to maximize the roster’s spacing, shooting and transition attack. Davis has historically been reluctant to play the five unless it’s the playoffs — even if he publicly denies it — but he doesn’t have much of a choice.