NBA rumors: Mike D’Antoni, Billy Donovan emerging in 76ers’ coaching search

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After the Philadelphia 76ers fired Brett Brown, they immediately launched a coaching search that everyone knew would attract headlines and draw in big names. While rumors swirled about which coach the 76ers would land, we’re now getting clarity on which candidates are emerging to take over in Philadelphia.

Many speculated that Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright could be an option, but he immediately took his name out of the running. Now, the 76ers are focused on some of the biggest names in the NBA’s coaching circles, all of whom bring plenty of experience.

Latest news on Philadelphia 76ers search for new coach

Almost immediately, Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue emerged as a potential candidate for Philadelphia. While he only lased for just over three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he posted a 211-128 record with three trips to the NBA Finals and a championship ring.

Unsurprisingly, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Lue is expected to be part of the next rounds of interviews for Philadelphia. He is reportedly very interested in the gig, given its an opportunity to coach Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. However, he’ll be facing some stiff competition for the gig.

According to The Athletic, former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and ex-Thunder coach Billy Donovan will also be part of the 76ers’ upcoming coaching interviews. Both coaches were let go after their respective teams were eliminated from the playoffs, but are widely respected around the NBA.

This isn’t the first time D’Antoni has been connected to the coaching search. In fact, previous reports indicated he might be the favorite to take over as the 76ers’ coach. With 17 years of experience, featuring stints with the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, the 69-year-old coach has the resume. While he has never reached the NBA Finals, D’Antoni has won Coach of the Year twice *2005, 2017) and boasts a 672-527 record in his coaching career.

Donovan is another compelling candidate for the 76ers. He won two NCAA championships with the Florida Gators, before making the jump to the NBA. Despite the Thunder trading away Paul George and Russell Westbrook before the 2019-’20 season, the team still made the playoffs this season with a 44-28 record.

If the 76ers don’t hire Donovan, he still might find work with another playoff contender. According to The Athletic, he interviewed for the Indiana Pacers gig last week and would be a great addition to the team.