As we relayed earlier this week, new Sixers coach Ime Udoka is replacing Monty Williams as lead assistant coach under head man Brett Brown. Unlike Williams, however, Idoka will also be tasked with being the team’s new defensive coordinator next season, writes Rich Hofmann of The Athletic.
Udoka has interviewed unsuccessfully for some head coaching positions over the last couple offseasons in Cleveland, Toronto, Detroit, Charlotte and Orlando, but this new position for the Sixers will still be a promotion for him, as Ettore Messina is the lead assistant in San Antonio.
Getting the opportunity to be a lead assistant may very well increase Udoka’s chances of landing a head coaching role in the near future, especially considering the success that Brown’s other assistants for the Sixers like Lloyd Pierce (Hawks) and Williams (Suns) have had when they had the opportunity to interview for top jobs.
In the meantime, Udoka will oversee a defense that largely underperformed during the 2018/19 season given the talent on the Sixers’ roster.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division this afternoon:
- The Knicks‘ top priority this offseason is luring one, if not two top tier free agents to Manhattan. But what if that doesn’t happen? According to Matt John of Basketball Insiders, the Knicks should either keep available cap space for the 2020 offseason, or begin building around Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft.
- The Celtics currently hold the No. 51 overall selection in this month’s draft, so Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston takes a look at five prospects – DaQuan Jeffries (Tulsa), Bruno Fernando (Maryland), Sagaba Konate (West Virginia), Tremont Waters (LSU), and Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State) – whom Boston could target with that pick.
- Per Jay King of The Athletic, the Celtics hosted three prospects for a workout yesterday – Nassir Little (North Carolina), Dylan Windler (Belmont), and Ignas Brazdeikis (Michigan). Little is the No. 9 overall prospect on ESPN’s top 100 list, so the Celtics would likely need to make a trade to move up if they’re seriously interested in the UNC product.