Monty Williams

Sixers Notes: Brand, Fultz, M. Williams

The Sixers are staying in-house with their new general manager pick, as former NBA big man Elton Brand will receive a promotion to replace Bryan Colangelo. Although elevating an internal candidate may seem like a safe choice, it’s a risk for the 76ers, who are giving significant responsibility to an executive who retired as a player less than two years ago, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic and Tom Ziller of write. People within the organization have raved about Brand’s work ethic since he was hired, but he lacks the front office experience of virtually any other candidate the Sixers considered, Bodner notes.

Of course, Brand won’t be asked to make personnel decisions on his own, and it’s possible he won’t even have the final say on roster moves. The Sixers have talked extensively about their front office’s collaborative approach to key decisions, and as Sarah Todd of observes, it remains to be seen what exactly the management power structure will look like. While relying on a collaborative process is fine, “collaborative won’t work forever,” according to Todd, who points out that someone will have to take responsibility for the team’s moves at some point — especially if those moves don’t pan out.

Here’s more out of Philadelphia:

  • While Brand’s promotion may have come as a bit of a surprise, it was welcome news for multiple Sixers players, some of whom played with the former No. 1 pick, per Keith Pompey of “Since we were teammates, I have always been so impressed with EB’s work ethic and professionalism,” T.J. McConnell said. “I’m really happy for him, and I know he’ll carry those same traits into his new job.”
  • Markelle Fultz remains the biggest X-factor on the 76ers’ roster entering the 2018/19 season, according to David Murphy of, who suggests that the team could get a good idea in the coming months whether 2017’s top pick can still develop into a difference-making player.
  • Monty Williams, who stepped away from coaching in 2016 after his wife Ingrid died from injuries suffered in a car accident, was hired as the Sixers’ lead assistant earlier this offseason and feels like he’s ready to return an NBA bench, as he tells Sarah Todd of “It’s a great time for me to get back to full-time coaching,” Williams said this week.” It was Brett [Brown], it was the team. I’ve played here before so I kind of know the culture of the city. Most importantly, my family was ready for me to get back into coaching.”

Sixers Ownership Met To Discuss Colangelo’s Future

The Sixers‘ ownership group convened in New York on Tuesday evening, talking for several hours about whether head of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo should be fired based on the findings in an investigation into several burner Twitter accounts, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Wojnarowski, the 76ers could reach a decision on Wednesday.

As Wojnarowski has previously reported, the investigation into those Twitter accounts, which published tweets critical of Sixers players and revealed sensitive information, has increasingly focused on Colangelo’s wife Barbara.

Both Colangelo and his wife were interviewed by investigators for several hours on Sunday and Monday. While those interviews took place separately, Sixers ownership is struggling to separate Colangelo from his wife when it comes to the tweets in question, if she did in fact post them, Wojnarowski writes.

With Colangelo’s future up in the air, the Sixers are looking ahead to next month’s free agent period with the intent of putting Brett Brown “front and center” in presentations to top players, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that the hiring of Monty Williams as Brown’s top assistant could have an impact on discussions with free agents too. Both Brown and Williams have strong reputations with players around the NBA.

The 76ers could also rely on assistant GMs Marc Eversley and Ned Cohen to help navigate the coming offseason if they decide to move on from Colangelo, Woj observes.

Monty Williams Agrees To Become Top Sixers Assistant

Monty Williams has reached an agreement with the Sixers to become Brett Brown’s top assistant, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Williams emerged last week as a candidate to join Brown’s staff. He’ll replace Lloyd Pierce, who was named the Hawks’ head coach. Brown agreed to a three-year extension with the Sixers last week.

Williams will be leaving his position as the Spurs’ vice president of basketball operations. He spent five seasons as a head coach with the Pelicans, compiling a 173-221 record and reaching the playoffs twice, and wanted to return to coaching.

Williams served as associate head coach with the Thunder during the 2015/16 season before the Spurs hired him.

Monty Williams May Join Sixers’ Staff

Spurs executive Monty Williams is talking to Sixers head coach Brett Brown about a possible lead assistant role, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Currently the vice president of basketball operations in San Antonio, Williams spent five seasons as a head coach in New Orleans, compiling a 173-221 record and reaching the playoffs twice. He has been looking for an opportunity to return to coaching, Wojnarowski adds.

Williams served as associate head coach in Oklahoma City during the 2015/16 season before landing the job with the Spurs. He also spent five years as an assistant with the Trail Blazers.

Coaching Rumors: Raptors, Casey, Bucks, Knicks

As we relayed in our story on Dwane Casey‘s firing earlier today, it didn’t take long for one outside candidate to be linked to the Raptors‘ head coaching job, with Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski both reporting that Mike Budenholzer is a name to watch.

Budenholzer’s name continues to surface in relation to the Raptors’ newly-opened coaching position. Sources confirmed to Michael Grange of (Twitter link) that Toronto is expected to pursue Budenholzer, while Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link) hears from coaching sources that Raptors president Masai Ujiri has “strong interest” in the former Hawks head coach.

As we wait to see if Budenholzer emerges as the favorite for the Raptors’ job, let’s round up more coaching rumors and notes from around the NBA…

  • According to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link), Casey – who had one year left on his contract – sought an extension from the Raptors before he was let go. Zillgitt speculates that stance may have forced Ujiri’s hand.
  • ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link) and Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provide updates on the Bucks‘ coaching search, writing that the first round of interviews should wrap up this week. Milwaukee has interviewed Ettore Messina, Steve Clifford, Mike Budenholzer, Monty Williams, and Joe Prunty so far, and still has meetings lined up with David Blatt and Becky Hammon. GM Jon Horst figures to narrow the team’s list to three or four finalists, at which point team ownership will get involved in the process.
  • A source tells Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press that Jerry Stackhouse “interviews well” for coaching jobs, but “does rub some people the wrong way.” Stackhouse entered the offseason as a popular rising head coaching candidate, but has yet to gain traction for any open jobs. In fact, despite a mid-April report indicating Stackhouse would meet with the Magic, that interview has yet to happen, per Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel.
  • New Knicks head coach David Fizdale is expected to hire Nick Van Exel to join his staff in New York, sources tell Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Like Keith Smart, who is also reportedly set to join the Knicks, Van Exel was on Fizdale’s staff in Memphis.

Rick Carlisle Denies Interest In Bucks’ Job

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle issued a statement to the media denying that he’s a candidate for the head coaching vacancy in Milwaukee, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

“Rumors that I have interest in the Milwaukee Bucks’ job are completely inaccurate,” he wrote. “I work for Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks.”

Carlisle is responding to a report from Gery Woelfel this week suggesting that the Mavs coach might have interest in coaching the Bucks, Stein adds (Twitter link). Woelfel identified Mike Budenholzer and Monty Williams as the top two candidates for the job.

Carlisle just completed the first year of a five-year extension in Dallas that runs through the 2021/22 season. He has a 437-367 record in 10 seasons with the Mavericks.

Bucks Line Up Coaching Interviews For This Week

The Bucks have a busy week of head coaching interviews ahead of them, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports (via Twitter) that the team will meet with Steve Clifford today after sitting down with Ettore Messina on Saturday.

In addition to today’s meeting with Clifford, the Bucks also have interviews lined up this week with Mike Budenholzer, Monty Williams, Becky Hammon, James Borrego, and David Blatt, per Wojnarowski. All of those interviewees had been previously named as potential candidates for the Milwaukee job, with Budenholzer and Williams viewed as possible favorites.

Assuming all those interviews take place this week as planned, the Bucks’ list of completed meetings would be up to at least seven. A recent report indicated that interim coach Joe Prunty would also get to interview for the permanent job, though it’s not clear if that meeting has already taken place or if he’ll sit down with Bucks management later in the process.

Wojnarowski said last week that the Bucks may interview up to about 10 candidates for their head coaching position, so it’s possible that one or two other contenders could join the fray. Jim Cleamons reportedly spoke informally to the club about the job, making him one candidate for a more formal interview.

Mike Budenholzer, Monty Williams Favorites For Bucks Job?

According to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times, former Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer and Spurs’ vice president of basketball operations Monty Williams appear to be the favorites for the Bucks‘ head coaching job, according to league sources.

We’ve noted the Bucks’ interest in Budenholzer several different times in the recent past, and we just relayed yesterday the team’s plan to interview Williams, so the report isn’t altogether surprising. However, it’s interesting to see that some NBA sources view Budenholzer and Williams as higher on Milwaukee’s wish list than other previously named candidates such as Steve Clifford or David Blatt.

Budenholzer, 48, was the head coach of the Hawks for five seasons from 2013 to 2018, while Williams, 46, last coached for the Thunder during the 2015/16 season after being the head man in New Orleans for five seasons from 2010 to 2015.

Other candidates for the Bucks’ head coaching vacancy include Spurs’ assistants Ettore MessinaBecky Hammon, and James Borrego, as well as interim coach Joe Prunty.

Keep up with all the latest coaching developments with our 2018 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Bucks To Interview Messina, Clifford, Williams

The Bucks’ head coaching search is underway, as the team is scheduled to meet with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, former Hornets head coach Steve Clifford, and former Pelicans head coach Monty Williams within the next several days, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Clifford and Williams were identified as part of Milwaukee’s initial group of candidates on Thursday, as was David Blatt, who also intends to meet with the Bucks about their head coaching vacancy, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link).

It’s not clear if and when the Bucks will interview Mike Budenholzer, the other name mentioned on Thursday, but Wojnarowski suggests that the club may meet with as many as 10 candidates. That would put them about in line with the Knicks and Suns, the two teams so far who have filled their head coaching openings after conducting full-fledged searches. New York reportedly interviewed 11 candidates, while Phoenix met with 10.

Messina and Clifford have both received consideration for other head coaching jobs this offseason. Messina met with the Hornets, whose search is ongoing, while Clifford talked to the Suns before they hired Igor Kokoskov.

This will be the first reported interview this spring for Williams, who was identified as a possible frontrunner for the Milwaukee job way back in January. Having served as the Spurs’ vice president of basketball operations since 2016, Williams last coached as an assistant for the Thunder in 2015/16. He took a leave of absence from that position when his wife Ingrid was killed in a car crash, and hasn’t returned to coaching since.

Names Emerge In Bucks’ Coaching Search

A few early candidates have been identified as the Bucks begin their search for a new head coach, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

He names five former head coaches — Steve Clifford, Mike Budenholzer, Monty Williams, David Fizdale and David Blatt — that Milwaukee would like to interview, adding that a few more could be in the mix.

Because they made the playoffs, the Bucks got a late start in their pursuit of a new coach and are facing competition for several names on the list. Fizdale, considered one of the finalists for the Knicks’ job, has an interview scheduled with the Magic this week. He has also interviewed with the the Hornets and Hawks, as well as the Suns, who will fill their vacancy with Igor Kokoskov.

Budenholzer, who recently parted ways with the Hawks, is also believed to be a Knicks finalist, along with Blatt, who coached the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2015. Budenholzer inteviewed for the Suns’ job, as did Clifford, who was fired as head coach of the Hornets after the season ended. Williams, a former head coach with the Pelicans, serves as VP of basketball operations for the Spurs.

The Bucks may be the most desirable destination for potential coaches, boasting a playoff-caliber roster that includes MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo. Interim coach Joe Prunty, who led the team to a 21-16 record after taking over for Jason Kidd at midseason, will get consideration, but the franchise may be hoping to attract a bigger name to make a splash as it moves into a new arena this fall.