When the Los Angeles Clippers announced the firing of Doc Rivers a couple of weeks back, the veteran head coach quickly became the top candidate in multiple organizations' head coaching searches. Within hours of his departure from the Clippers' organization, Rivers' representatives fielded calls from the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Orleans Pelicans.
But those two teams weren't the only franchises with eyes on Rivers. According to ESPN's NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets fully intended to strongly consider hiring Rivers once he became available. Unfortunately for them, they waited too late and lost out to the Sixers.
"Houston had initially wanted to hire Rivers to replace Mike D'Antoni," Wojnarowski reported. "But his talks with the 76ers moved quickly to a resolution." Within less than 48 hours, the Sixers had Rivers on a plane to Philly to meet with the team's Managing Partners and General Manager.
Although Rivers left Philly without a deal in place, an offer was on the table. After discussing the opportunity with his family, Rivers became the next head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers -- leaving the Rockets and the Pelicans looking elsewhere.
While Houston's interest in Rivers was quiet, they have a few notable candidates interviewing for the vacant head coach position this week. Recently, the Rockets hosted Clippers assistant coach and former Sixers target Ty Lue. And on Wednesday, the team will meet with Jeff Van Gundy for consideration as well.
There's still plenty of talent available still in the head coaching market for the Rockets, but the Sixers should feel good that they ended up with arguably the top candidate with Doc Rivers as they look to bounce back after a rough season.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_