The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to bring in a couple of veteran names to interview for their vacant head-coaching position.
According to Jason Dumas of KRON News, both Mike D’Antoni and Billy Donovan “should be in Camden this week to interview with the Sixers for the head coaching job.”
D’Antoni is just one day removed from alerting his former team, the Houston Rockets, that he would not return for a fifth season.
Despite having the likes of James Harden and Russell Westbrook at his disposal this season, the Rockets were eliminated in five games by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.
The 69-year-old has 16 years worth of NBA head-coaching experience, most notably developing the Phoenix Suns during the early 2000s into one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the NBA.
He also had unsuccessful stints with the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers before heading to Houston in 2016.
D’Antoni is no stranger to the postseason having made it 11 times in 16 seasons, but he never made it past the conference final stage and has never won a championship as a head coach.
He’s attained most of his success by playing a smaller brand of basketball, which would be quite a challenge to institute in Philadelphia considering center Joel Embiid is the focal point of the Sixers’ offense. Not to mention point guard Ben Simmons is 6-foot-10 and doesn’t necessarily play a traditional kind of floor general’s game.
Donovan parlayed a pair of national championships at the University of Florida into a NBA head-coaching gig with the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he spent the last five seasons and helped steer the team through the losses of Kevin Durant, Westbrook, and Paul George.
The 55-year-old still managed to make the playoffs in each of his five years with OKC, but like D’Antoni, he never got past the Western Conference Final.
After being eliminated in seven games by D’Antoni’s Rockets during the first round of the playoffs inside the Orlando bubble, the Thunder opted to part ways with Donovan.
This is a coach who is a little more adaptable compared to D’Antoni, but he’s had a track record of not getting the most out of some talented rosters.
For Sixers fans who have had to hear about Brett Brown’s inability to properly tap into Embiid and Simmons, that’s a direction they would want to try and avoid.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue is also considered a candidate.