Sixers’ Ownership Wants Mike D’Antoni As Head Coach

Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue is scheduled to interview Tuesday for the Sixers‘ head coaching vacancy, but the ownership group is strongly in favor of hiring former Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

What effect that endorsement will have on the process is uncertain, along with the question of who will make the final decision, Pompey adds. The stated plan was for general manager Elton Brand to be in charge of interviewing and to make a recommendation to ownership, which would approve or reject it. However, sources tell Pompey that D’Antoni met directly with team owners during the first round of interviews, although the Sixers are denying their involvement. Sources say D’Antoni had a meeting with Brand as well, as did Billy Donovan, who was hired by the Bulls this week.

Pompey cites leaks from the organization indicating that Brand and star center Joel Embiid are now on board with hiring D’Antoni. Embiid is looking forward to facing the basket in D’Antoni’s offense, rather than posting up. The coach also reportedly plans to make Tobias Harris a power forward again. The front office is willing to make trades to build a roster that fits D’Antoni’s style of play, and he will have input into choosing players, according to Pompey.

Pompey questions whether Lue is watching the situation in Philadelphia closely and if it would be worth his time to go ahead with the interview. Lue was considered the top candidate for the job when Brett Brown was fired in late August. There was mutual interest, Pompey adds, and negotiations were expected to intensify once the Clippers’ playoff run ended.

Lue was excited about the chance to coach Embiid and fellow All-Star Ben Simmons and wasn’t bothered by the perception that both star players would have a significant role in picking the next coach. Pompey notes that Lue has been around huge stars throughout his NBA career, dating back to his playing days with the Lakers.

Sources tell Pompey that Lue’s interactions with the Sixers have been limited to a few discussions with Brand. He hasn’t met directly with the GM like other first-round candidates and hasn’t been contacted by ownership. Pompey hears that D’Antoni would have to “bomb his interview” to not be offered the job, so Lue’s hopes of becoming a head coach again may have to happen elsewhere.

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41 thoughts on “Sixers’ Ownership Wants Mike D’Antoni As Head Coach

  1. Sillivan

    Suns trade all available Future First round picks for D’Antoni to win championships but he can’t win the west
    Rockets are similar
    Now it’s your turn, 76ers
    How many first round picks are available?

  2. tjbarnaba

    Don’t forget, couldn’t get it done in NY either. Good regular season coach when he has a great ball dominate guard but not a playoff tactician.

  3. DynamiteAdams

    Why does Embiid want to face the basket when he’s the best post up player in the league? Guy gets bounced from the first round and thinks “Damn maybe if I play away from my strengths we would’ve won.” What are we doing! We got to the playoffs after two seasons and decided it was Finals or bust all of a sudden and we’re hurtling toward bust.

    • jump shot

      If you’re on this site I’m gonna assume you’ve played ball and and have small guys who swear they’re big, and like to play down low. Embiid literally thinks he’s a tall perimeter player. Literally. He thinks D’Antoni’s game plan is perfect for his game/skills.

      • Embiid gonna have to put in a ton of work on his conditioning if he’s gonna play in a D’Antoni offense. I cant think of worse fit for a coach and his roster

        • jump shot

          I agree! He’ll pull a hamstring in training camp trying to play at D’Antoni’s tempo and then it’ll be the same theme over and over… injury, out of shape, etc…

  4. harden-westbrook-mvps

    They’re going to need to make a lot of trades since the Sixers don’t have very many shooters. Getting a PG who shoots well from 3-point range would certainly be ideal.

  5. Sillivan

    Attach 2 future firsts to shed Horford salary
    Attach 1 future first to trade for Small Forward
    Attach 1 future first to trade for a pure point guard

    No more available first round picks

      • Lionel Muggeridge

        That actually isn’t such a bad idea. Gordon will be let loose without having four other guys who want the ball like in Boston. Horford can end his career in Boston where he had some of his best years. Salaries are probably pretty close with two huge contracts

  6. Sillivan

    D’Antoni wants to move Harris to PF
    and trade for a pure point guard

    How does he use Simmons?

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      Simmons will play at “center” because Embiid will be playing for Houston/OKC/Sacramento.

    • fishy 9 dogs

      Trade Simmons to wolves for #1 and take Ball. Or more likely a 3 team trade, possibly with the rockets for Harden.

  7. Sillivan

    This is crazy hire because it looks perfect on paper but reality is every team wants to keep their franchise players
    And you will trade Simmons for worse player

  8. imindless

    Funny how he never mentions simmons are a key piece to build around only embiid. Meaning simmons will be traded (smart move though simmons isn’t good.)

    Could see simmons maybe being delt for harden? Harden would then give the sixers a penetrating guard who can shoot to be paired up with embid.

    Sixers receive: harden, westbrook (gives sixers a big three and gets them out from horford or harris)

    Rockets recieve: harris/horford, simmons (gives rockets relief and out from both harden and Westbrook’s deals)

    • x%sure

      Yes, only Embiid & Tobias can feel comfortable with that report… unless Simmons wants out anyway.

      Major trade! Feels like a must.

  9. The Howler

    With D’Antoni at the helm, 76er will be redefined to mean how many 3 pt shots they will take a game. Seriously though, his star big man is too big and slow for his system and a below average 3 of shooter while his star PG plays scores inside and disdains outside/3 pt shots. I look forward to seeing how he handles it.

    I think if they were to trade one, Embiid has the best trade value not because he is better but because many GMs are still enamored by the big man in the middle.

  10. So, Al Holford comes off the bench with that contract? Other than Harris, this isn’t a very good/consistent 3pt shooting team to mesh into the philosophy that Mike D implements. Not at that level he demands, at least.

  11. In the NBA, you don’t make roster changes at the Simmons-Embid level to accommodate a HC or a style of play. Even if MDA wasn’t old, it makes no sense. Now, if they want to deal one of those guys anyway and MDA is an excuse, then OK. Going from where they are to a MDA type team means Embid or Simmons have to be involved.

  12. Eric Lord

    So, the Sixers fired Brett Brown because they underachieved in the playoffs & they’re going to hire a guy in Dantoni who underachieves in the playoffs. Makes perfect sense

  13. Simmons>Russ

    Makes sense with Elton Brand as coach. Personally also think Dantoni suits both Embiid and Simmons, especially more so that Brett Brown.

    Wouldn’t be surprised tho if Embiid gets traded in order to get Simmons a sharpshooting co star like Booker or Beal. Think just in general there will be some big trades being made with Mike and Elton together.

    Looking forward to seeing what happens anyways. Brand and Mike might not be the people’s favourites but they both have a huge ambition to win and do well. Personally I have liked some (not all their ideas) and think anything is a huge upgrade compared to Brett Brown

  14. KnickerbockerAl

    He’s not trading Simmons. And he’s the best pick n roll coach ever. Not sure what he does with Simmons. Best thing would be to get a PG who can shoot. Alternate with Simmons on running team. He’s best at SF or PF. Horford still has to get moved. Too much money as a a backup. He will be used to get PG. Sixers issues have been with their offense. DAntoni can fix that. As far as Embiid. He’ll play more pick n roll. And be at key more. He will get open looks there. He still will post. It’s a big strength. DAntoni is not going to kill that. I think he’s a good choice for them. They need a solid vet coach. Who can handle big personalities.

  15. x%sure

    The ownership group is only interested in big-name talent. They will keep having a collection not a team.

  16. hoosierhysteria

    Screwy Lue should not be hired. Not smart….just rolls out the balls. He couldn’t figure out his best 5 in Cleveland. Embiid has to get in shape if DAn is hired….or they will be jacking up 3s before he cross mid-court. Simmons will be traded… he can’t shoot….won’t fit.

  17. Jdog70

    There is a lot of blame to go around regarding the state of the Sixers. Hinkie, Colangelo, B. Brown, Brand and the owners missed a lot of opportunities in the draft:
    2013 – Drafted MCW instead of Giannis
    2014 – Amazing draft with Embiid, Saric and Jerami Grant, but could have also drafted Jokic instead of KJ McDaniels
    2015 – Drafted Okafor instead of D. Booker
    2016 – Drafted Simmons, but also drafted Korkmaz instead of Siakam
    2017 – Traded for Fultz instead of holding pick and drafting D. Fox
    2018 – Traded for Z. Smith instead of keeping M. Bridges

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