Berger On Malone, 76ers, Hornacek, Nets

Here’s the latest news on coaching and GM vacancies courtesy of’s Ken Berger..

  • It’s too early to identify a front-runner in the Sixers search, but things sound promising for Warriors assistant Mike Malone.  Philly execs have contacted the Warriors multiple times about Malone, including several conversations with consultant Jerry West.  In fact, the Sixers are consulting players who’ve played under both Malone and Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer to get a feel for how the two candidates differ, according to one source.
  • To the surprise of some rival executives, the Sixers‘ coaching search is being led by GM Tony DiLeo, whose contract expires this summer. With team president Rod Thorn moving into a smaller role and DiLeo’s contract expiring, rival execs expect the Sixers seek out a new decision maker as well.  In fact, that process has already begun through back-channel conversations, one person contacted on the Sixers’ behalf told Berger.
  • Nets star Deron Williams has been vocal in his support of Jerry Sloan for the job but also has a strong relationship with Jeff Hornacek.  In addition to the Sixers, the former Jazz sharpshooter has attracted interest from the Bobcats, Suns, and Bucks, sources told Berger.
  • The Suns  are in the advanced stages of their GM search and the latest word is that Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough‘s is gaining momentum.  Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman has been viewed as the favorite in some circles, however, and the Suns also have interviewed Spurs exec (and former Knicks GM) Scott Layden
  • The Clippers are expected to can Vinny Del Negro and Hawks are expected to let Larry Drew go, league sources said.  The Clippers are said to be “exploring all options,” while the Hawks’ decision on Drew’s future is expected “sooner than later,” sources said.  It is widely believed that GM Danny Ferry prefers to install his own head coach in Atlanta.
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