76ers Rumors: Doc Rivers, Ty Lue, Mike D'Antoni are Final Three Candidates

Justin Grasso

Although the Philadelphia 76ers added another head coaching candidate in the mix of their search this week, that will be the final prospect they will consider at this point. The top three finalists for the Sixers' coaching vacancy are former Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, Clippers assistant Ty Lue, and former Houston Rockets head coach, Mike D'Antoni.

It's been quite a ride for the last month or so. Back in August, when the 76ers wrapped up their run in the NBA's bubble down in Orlando, the team wasted no time firing Brett Brown after seven seasons. Although Brown exceeded expectations following his days during 'The Process,' it was clear his time was running short in Philly.

In search of a new beginning, the Sixers targeted a handful of candidates such as Jay Wright, Dave Joerger, Mike Brown, Ty Lue, and Ime Udoka. Of those five candidates, only Lue continued to remain relevant in the 76ers' search. Meanwhile, two other coaches became free agents as their teams were also eliminated from playoff contention.

Former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan and Mike D'Antoni each earned interviews with the Sixers shortly after becoming available. Donovan intrigued the Sixers but felt a stronger bond with the Chicago Bulls. Therefore, the Sixers' head coach vacancy clearly belonged to Lue or D'Antoni. Once the Clippers shockingly let go of Rivers, though, Philly couldn't help themselves but jump in.

On Monday, the Sixers reached out to Rivers' representatives to check his availability. By Wednesday, Rivers was in Philly meeting with 76ers' Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer shortly after having discussions with General Manager Elton Brand. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Rivers is the third and final candidate on the Sixers' list of potential hires. There's no official deadline set for a decision, but Wojnarowski reports a "decision is expected this week."

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_

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