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.
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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.
It’s clear that Doc Rivers is now the leading candidate for the 76ers’ head coaching job, and that a deal could be imminent. A league source said the Sixers and Rivers are working through details and the job is his to turn down. The former Los Angeles Clippers coach interviewed on Wednesday. Sources confirmed that he watched the Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals with the Sixers owners that night.
One source said that Rivers wasn’t going to leave town without an offer. Another source said the expectation is the Sixers will announce Rivers as their next coach. The team had intended to make the coaching hire as early as Thursday.
Yet as of early Thursday afternoon, he was publicly regarded as just the favorite to get the job. Mike D’Antoni, the former coach of the Houston Rockets, remains a candidate. Former Clippers assistant Ty Lue is out of the mix.
So what’s the holdup, considering there’s mutual interest on both sides? Could they be negotiating? With the Clippers, Rivers had a say in personnel decisions. It’s no secret that the Sixers are looking to add basketball minds to their front office. The team has said it is looking for an addition that would rank below general manager Elton Brand. This comes after multiple league sources had said the team was inquiring about the possibility of hiring a president of basketball operations.
Marc Stein: On the NBA’s fast-moving coaching carousel … The growing belief in league circles is that Doc Rivers has swiftly supplanted Mike D’Antoni as the favorite for the Philadelphia job … With Ty Lue ranking as the early favorite to replace Rivers with the Clippers
Adrian Wojnarowski: After a productive Wednesday of talks with Sixers, Doc Rivers has emerged as a serious candidate in process to hire a new coach, sources tell ESPN. Rivers left town after meeting with ownership and GM Elton Brand. Mike D’Antoni remains other prominent candidate in search.
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 told ESPN. Rivers talked earlier Wednesday in a virtual session with general manager Elton Brand. Brand will also attend the meeting with Rivers and the 76ers ownership.
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.
Shams Charania: Former Clippers coach Doc Rivers will meet with the 76ers in the Philadelphia area, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Tyronn Lue got a long-awaited, behind-the-scenes glimpse of what he hopes becomes his home-away from home. The Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach toured the 76ers practice facility in Camden as part of Tuesday’s interview for the vacant coaching job, according to sources.
If that’s the case, the Sixers must ask themselves whether waiting for him is worth possibly losing out on D’Antoni or Lue. Before Rivers was fired, a source said the team would prefer to name a coach this week.
Lue, a former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach, has some options. The Clippers reached out to him Monday about being a candidate to replace Rivers, who is a close friend, according to sources. Sources added that representatives of the New Orleans Pelicans are scheduled to fly to the West Coast for an informal meeting with Lue on Friday. He’s also scheduled to interview for the Houston Rockets job next week. But Lue is interested in coaching the Sixers.
Marc J. Spears: New Orleans Pelicans and Philadelphia 76ers have already reached out to former Clippers head coach Doc Rivers in regards to their head coach openings, sources told @TheUndefeated.
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.
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.
But what about Lue? Source have said his progress has been different. So far, his candidacy has consisted of just discussions with Brand, according to sources. The GM did not meet with him in person like other candidates in the first round of interviews. Nor has Lue heard from anyone in the ownership group.
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.
Mike D’Antoni’s next coaching job will likely wind up being with the Indiana Pacers or Philadelphia 76ers, league sources tell BasketballNews.com.
There have been maturity issues involving Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons that have been problematic for that franchise for several seasons, but league sources said that having a new voice leading the locker room – along with a new offensive game-plan emphasizing speed and scoring that presumably would be welcomed by Simmons, Embiid and Tobias Harris – would be part of the appeal in order for Sixers ownership to go hard after D’Antoni.
The Bulls are narrowing to finalists for their head coaching job and expect to conduct final interviews soon, sources said. Denver assistant Wes Unseld Jr., Philadelphia assistant Ime Udoka, Milwaukee assistant Darvin Ham and former Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson are among the coaches who have had strong interviews so far.
Jason Dumas: Source tells me that Mike D’Antoni & Billy Donovan should be in Camden this week to interview with the Sixers for the head coaching job.
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.”
Jon Johnson: To clarify: there is no done deal with Lue. Apologies to Sixers. More to come.
Jay Wright: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Eg7Q5r3WkAEu-Af.jpg
Dan Gelston: Jay Wright says no thanks to the 76ers : “I am not a candidate for the job. I am very happy and honored to coach at Villanova.”
Keith Pompey: Los Angeles #Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd wants the 76ers coaching job, according to multiple league sources.
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.
Lue, of course, has also been mentioned for months as a top candidate in the Nets’ looming coaching search. The latest rumbles in N.B.A. coaching circles suggest that the Nets or the Philadelphia 76ers are more likely landing spots for Lue than New Orleans despite his Griffin ties.
Adrian Wojnarowski: “I think the (coaching) search is going to start with Tyronn Lue, the assistant with the Clippers.”
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.
The search is expected to expand beyond those two candidates, but Lue fits the profile of an extremely limited pool of candidates with championship, playoff and high-profile star coaching experience.
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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January 17, 2021 | 5:45 pm EST Update
Tim Bontemps: Tonight’s Sixers-Thunder game has been postponed, the league announces. Too many Sixers are in contact tracing protocols for the game to be played.
John Karalis: Contact tracing on the Sixers postpones tonight’s game with OKC. Philly is Boston’s next opponent so let’s see how this impacts games later this week
Brad Townsend: Carlisle says he is optimistic that Brunson will be available tomorrow, but adds with agitation in his voice: “The guy basically tested negative for a week and a half and didn’t have it. Go figure that one.”