This morning, tons of Sixers fans rejoiced after the team parted ways with head coach Doc Rivers.
The breaking news comes days after a Game 7 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics.
Despite all the success Rivers has in the regular season, it has not translated to the postseason for Philadelphia.
In his three seasons with the 76ers, Rivers reached the second round each year but failed to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Now, a big question remains if James Harden will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
There have been talks of the veteran guard returning to the Houston Rockets on a multi-year mega deal; Harden’s decision can revolve around who the Sixers seek to hire as their new head coach.
If Philadelphia looks to land a coach familiar with Harden’s playstyle, Mike D’Antoni would be the perfect fit.
From 2016 to 2020, D’Antoni was the head coach of the Houston Rockets. Additionally, Daryl Morey was the general manager for the Rockets during this time frame.
The star player for this organization was James Harden, so that it would be quite the reunion for these three individuals in Philadelphia.
D’Antoni is a master of the pick-and-roll concept, which would complement Embiid & Harden. Still, despite his powerful offensive schemes, the coach has rarely focused on defense throughout his career.
If the 76ers are set on inking Harden to a new contract, it would not surprise me to see D’Antoni reunite with his former star guard. But, it will undoubtedly change the team dynamic as Harden expects to be the focal point of an offense.
Since Joel Embiid is the heart and soul of the 76ers organization, the team may move in a different direction.
Philadelphia lost to the Toronto Raptors (who were coached by Nurse) in a heart-breaking Game 7 loss in 2019.
Only a few years removed from a championship title, Nurse is now searching for a new position in the league.
He has a reputation for thinking outside the box for his play-calling, which would significantly boost the 76ers.
One thing they lacked with Rivers as the head coach was a creative game plan.
On the other side, Nurse is known to play his starters for an immense number of minutes which might not mesh well with the Sixers stars regarding their injury history.
However, if Philadelphia looks to stay in-house with their new head coach, then Sam Cassell is the ideal option.
Cassell has served as an assistant under Doc Rivers for the past nine seasons (six with the Los Angeles Clippers and three with the Philadelphia 76ers).
Multiple teams around the league have interest in Cassell as this may be the first season he receives a head coaching opportunity.
He’s known for his old-school approach as a coach but has been credited with molding a handful of young players, such as Bradley Beal, Tyrese Maxey, and John Wall.
The Sixers will be faced with a tough decision.
Do they hand the keys of a playoff contender team to a first-year head coach or risk losing an important piece of the coaching staff?
Only time will tell, but the search for a new head coach is officially underway!
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