NBA rumors: Mike D’Antoni to 76ers rumbles have gotten louder

Rockets' Mike D'Antoni during NBA Playoff game against the Lakers.
Sep 8, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni reacts during the first half of game three in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs against the Los Angeles Lakers at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sport

Once the Philadelphia 76ers fired Brett Brown following yet another disappointing early-playoff exit, some big names appeared as potential candidates to replace the head coach.

Among those, Mike D’Antoni was still under contract with the Houston Rockets. That’s changed since Houston’s second-round playoff exit at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers. D’Antoni announced shortly after said exit that he was not returning to the Rockets.

Now, rumors are heating up that D’Antoni could in fact land in the City of Brotherly Love.

NBA rumors: Mike D’Antoni to 76ers heating up

There’s certainly a lot to look at here. We previously focused on how the potential hire of D’Antoni could shake up the Sixers’ underperforming roster.

Related: Has Ben Simmons played his final game in Philadelphia?

In his report, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer brings up a potential Chris Paul trade. Remember, Paul worked under D’Antoni in Houston for three seasons before James Harden pretty much forced that now-infamous trade of Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook.

Philadelphia 76ers trade rumors

Given this report, it seems likely that Sixers general manager Elton Brand may look to change things up on the fly. It was previously noted that neither Ben Simmons nor Joel Embiid — the Sixers’ two All-Star — would be traded. If D’Antoni is indeed hired, that changes the dynamics in a big way.

While Brett Brown might have been the scapegoat following another disappointing season in Philadelphia, the star duo of Simmons and Embiid do not seem to be championship-caliber. That’s the sad reality of the situation.

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Could the Sixers look to move one of these players to the Thunder for Paul? A deal of that ilk would allow Philadelphia to rid itself of Al Horford’s bloated contract while acquiring much-needed draft pick capital. It’s some food for thought.

Will Mike D’Antoni be the Sixers head coach?

This is obviously all predicated on D’Antoni becoming the next head coach in Philadelphia. Nothing is finalized until a contract is signed on the dotted line.

With that said, the Chicago Bulls’ shocking hire of Billy Donovan to be their next head coach does change the dynamics here. Formerly of the above-mentioned Thunder, Donovan was bandied about as a candidate in Philadelphia.

Now that options appear to be dwindling, it would not be a shocker if D’Antoni to the Sixers is announced here soon.