76ers Rumors: Mike D'Antoni Rumblings Getting 'Much Louder'
The Philadelphia 76ers have been searching for a Brett Brown replacement for about a month now. After ending a seven-year stint after a first-round playoff sweep, the Sixers plan to avoid any rebuilds and are searching for a coach who can come in and utilize Philly's young stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, to the best of their abilities.
Initially, it seemed like Los Angeles Clippers assistant Ty Lue was the man for the job. As Lue has head coaching experience on a championship-winning team that featured multiple big-name stars, it seemed like a good match between Lue and the Sixers.
Now that other names have become available, the Sixers aren't precisely zeroed in on the former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach anymore. Over the next ten days, the Sixers reportedly planned to host Lue, Billy Donovan, and Mike D'Anotni for second interviews. Now that Donovan is out of the picture, though, it seems the race could be down to just Lue and D'Antoni barring any recent changes.
While it seemed like it was Lue or bust for some time, it sounds like the Sixers are quickly becoming intrigued with bringing D'Anotni back for a stint as a head coach. According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, "rumblings of Mike D'Antoni going to the Sixers have gotten much louder this past day." While O'Connor clarifies that "nothing is final," his report doesn't come as a shock.
Although D'Antoni's small-ball system is an awkward fit for the Sixers' roster build, the former Rockets head coach is no stranger to the team. Back in 2015, D'Antoni served as an associate head coach with Brett Brown. And if earlier rumors are true, D'Antoni has had the Sixers as a preference before he decided to split with the Rockets officially.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_