Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly expected to interview Mike D’Antoni and Billy Donovan for their head coaching vacancy this week.
Jason Dumas of KRON4 reported the two free-agent coaches will discuss the job with Sixers brass.
D’Antoni informed the Houston Rockets he would not be returning after his contract expired Saturday following the team’s second-round loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Donovan and the Oklahoma City Thunder were unable to come to terms on a new deal after losing to Houston in Round 1.
The Sixers are expected to cast a wide net for an established coach to replace Brett Brown, who was fired after seven seasons with the franchise.
D’Antoni briefly served on Brown’s coaching staff during the 2015-16 season before being hired by Houston, so he has familiarity with the organization. He also has an innovative offensive mind that could enliven a Sixers team that spent most of this season struggling for spacing. Three-point efficiency, a hallmark of D’Antoni teams, could be an issue given the Sixers’ roster shortcomings.
Donovan racked up a 243-157 record in five seasons with the Thunder, which followed a successful 19-year run at the University of Florida. After making the conference finals his first season, Donovan failed to advance past the first round the next four. The Thunder are expected to soon undergo a lengthy rebuilding project, a process in which Donovan did not want to participate.
Donovan does not stand out as especially different enough to justify replacing Brown, who was well liked but clearly had overstayed his welcome by the time the Sixers were swept by the Miami Heat. The Sixers desperately need a voice to help Ben Simmons expand his game and get more consistent effort out of Joel Embiid. It’s unclear if either of these coaches quite fits the bill.