Report: Sixers would make trades if D'Antoni hired as coach

Sam Amico

The Philadelphia 76ers would make trades to match the wide-open system of Mike D'Antoni if he were hired as coach, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

General manager Elton Brand and the 76ers are seemingly nearing the end of their coaching search, with D'Antoni and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue the lone finalists, per Pompey.

D'Antoni immediately stepped down after four years with the Houston Rockets after the season and is said to be the favorite of Sixers ownership. His "small-ball" style of 3-point shooting resulted in plenty of regular-season success with the Rockets, but failed to get them into the Finals.

A recent report suggested that the Sixers could hire D'Antoni with the idea of trying to lure Rockets star guard James Harden.

Pompey also wrote that a D'Antoni hire would likely move small forward Tobias Harris to power forward and be favored by center Joel Embiid, as D'Antoni's system would allow Embiid to face the basket more often.

That said, Sixers guard/forward Ben Simmons has attempted just 24 threes in his three-year career, making two (both this past season). Simmons went 0-of-17 shooting on threes over his first two seasons.

Lue, currently an assistant coach under Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers, is expected to interview with the 76ers on Tuesday, Pompey reported.

Along with the Rockets, D'Antoni has coached the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. He was also an assistant under former 76ers coach Brett Brown during the 2015-16 season.

Overall, D'Antoni has compiled a 718-555 record during the regular season, but is just 54-56 in the playoffs.

Lue has compiled a 128-83 overall record, and 41-20 in the playoffs. He was fired by the Cavs after an 0-6 start in 2018-19.