Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com takes a look at what the Sixers are getting in new head coach Nick Nurse, who gained a reputation as a creative defensive strategist in Toronto. As Neubeck observes, the presence of Joel Embiid will give Nurse the sort of rim-protecting center he never really had with the Raptors, which should help alleviate the pressure on Philadelphia’s perimeter players.
Nurse also represents the Sixers’ first head coaching hire since Daryl Morey assumed control of the front office, and it’s perhaps no coincidence that Morey has a history with Nurse, having hired him as the head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston’s G League affiliate) in 2011. While Morey and former head coach Doc Rivers weren’t necessarily a bad fit, there may be more shared views between Morey and Nurse, Neubeck writes.
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Elsewhere on the Nurse front, Rich Hofmann of The Athletic wonders if Nurse will benefit from his familiarity with the Sixers, having faced them more than any other opponent while in Toronto. Meanwhile, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (via Twitter) that Nurse met with Embiid during the interview process, and says that meeting went well.
- This offseason could present a clear picture of how the Knicks and the rest of the NBA value Immanuel Quickley, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who notes that the guard will be extension-eligible and could be discussed in trade talks again after being linked to the Donovan Mitchell rumors a year ago.
- Serbian center Nikola Milutinov has officially parted with CSKA Moscow and become a free agent, according to BasketNews.com. A first-round pick in 2015, Milutinov never signed an NBA contract, but his rights are still held by the Nets, so his free agency could have NBA implications. There has been no real indication that Brooklyn intends to bring him stateside though, so the 28-year-old may simply join another team in Europe.