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#pounditFriday, May 7, 2021

Articles tagged: Philadelphia 76ers

Report: Jason Kidd wants Sixers head coach job

Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd is a hot candidate for multiple coaching jobs right now, but he may have his eye on one in particular.

According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kidd wants the Philadelphia 76ers head coaching position. At the moment, no interviews are scheduled for Kidd or anyone else.

Kidd currently serves as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. He is 183-190 in head coaching stints with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.

It’s not clear if the Sixers are as interested in Kidd as he is in them. He was not mentioned in the team’s reported list of initial targets.

If the Sixers pass on Kidd, he’ll still have suitors elsewhere. One of his former teams reportedly has some interest in bringing him back for a second stint as coach.

Jay Wright, Ty Lue reportedly among candidates for 76ers job

The search for a new Philadelphia 76ers coach can begin in earnest after the team fired Brett Brown on Monday.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Sixers will target the likes of Villanova coach Jay Wright and former Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue to replace Brown. Current assistant Ime Udoka is also named as a candidate, as is Dave Joerger, who last coached with the Sacramento Kings.

Lue and especially Wright would be big-name replacements for Brown. Lue will be a popular option for other teams during the offseason, and may prefer a different job.

Wright is the most intriguing name. The Villanova coach has a great reputation, and is well known to Philadelphia basketball fans. However, he’s never worked in the NBA before in any capacity. It’s also not clear if he’d leave a comfortable job at Villanova for the risks of the NBA. There’s some thought that he might do it for this job.

The next coach will have a chance at success in Philadelphia. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid still form a good core, and it’s already a playoff team.

Brett Brown fired as head coach of 76ers

Brett Brown

The Philadelphia 76ers saw their season end in disappointing fashion on Sunday, and they have wasted no time moving on from head coach Brett Brown.

Brown was fired by the Sixers on Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported. There are expected to be more moves coming within the team’s front office.

General manager Elton Brand is expected to continue to oversee basketball operations, according to Wojnarowski.

The Sixers were swept by the Boston Celtics in four games. They barely put up a fight, though not having Ben Simmons for the series didn’t help. Even with Simmons, Philadelphia was inconsistent on offense all season and never really found an identity after sending Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade deal.

Reports have indicated that players openly challenged Brown over his offensive gameplans throughout the season. There were also said to be trust issues between the 59-year-old coach and his players, who felt Brown did not hold players accountable.

Brown became the head coach of the Sixers in 2013, and he was considered a big part of their rebuilding era. He finishes with a regular season record of 221-334 and a playoff record of 12-14.

Report: Brett Brown told 76ers he was open to bringing Jimmy Butler back

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown clashed with Jimmy Butler during the lone season the two spent together. That led many to believe Brown wanted Butler gone, but apparently that was not the case.

The 76ers chose not to re-sign Butler on a max contract last offseason. Instead, they brought in free agent Al Horford and gave Tobias Harris a max deal. The end result was a first-round playoff sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics. In examining what went wrong for the 76ers this season, Bleacher Report’s Yaron Weitzman shared an interesting piece of information — Brown was open to the Sixers re-signing Butler.

Sources told Weitzman that some within the 76ers organization acknowledged last summer that letting Butler walk could backfire. Executive vice president Alex Rucker was asked what the plan would be for closing out playoff games without Butler, as Brown had allowed Butler to play the role of closer. Eventually, Brown informed Philly’s brass that he would be on board with bringing Butler back.

Butler supposedly called Brown out in front of the team last season when he was unhappy with his role in the offense. Brown downplayed the incident and admitted Butler raised some valid points.

It’s no secret that Butler can be difficult to coach, but he’s a notoriously hard worker who wants to win. Brown may have even hinted recently that he believes Butler could have made a difference this season. It would be tough to argue against that, and it’s possible keeping Butler would have helped Brown keep his job. The coach is reportedly on the verge of being fired.

Joel Embiid seems unhappy with 76ers’ recent roster moves

Joel Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers look to be coming to the end of an era, and Joel Embiid is definitely looking back with some regrets.

Embiid seemed to question some of the organization’s roster moves over the past couple seasons after the team’s loss to Boston on Sunday. Embiid suggested that trades for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris might have upset the team’s chemistry.

“I just feel like, a couple years ago, when we made the playoffs for the first time, we had a bunch of great players that were drafted here or either formed in Philly and we had a bunch of guys especially that were in a great situation,” Embiid said, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

“And then we, as you know, we decided to trade a lot of it with the picks and stuff for Jimmy [Butler], Tobias [Harris], and we got a bunch of great players in return. Like I said, it just didn’t happen. We could never find a rhythm this year. It is disappointing. There’s a lot of regrets. I felt like the focus was not always there. And we got to do better; we just got to look at ourselves in the mirror and just do better.”

The Sixers traded the likes of Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and Landry Shamet for Butler and Harris. None are superstars, but all are useful role players.

This only adds to the evidence that something just isn’t right in Philadelphia. It’s likely to cost coach Brett Brown his job. It could also lead to significant changes to the roster, which could even include Embiid.

The 26-year-old center was dismissive of questions about the Sixers’ internal issues. His words here indicate that there is more than meets the eye.

Joel Embiid dismisses ‘stupid’ question about Sixers’ shortcomings

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid isn’t buying talk of structural flaws with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The star center reacted harshly to a question about what the “issue” is with the Sixers after they were swept by the Boston Celtics on Sunday. Embiid called the question “stupid” and said there was no issue, arguing that the team just didn’t play well.

There’s a reason the question was asked. The Sixers spent lots of money to assemble this team, but they still haven’t moved past the Eastern Conference Semifinals. This, an opening round sweep, was their worst performance yet. Plus, even Embiid’s own teammate admitted the team has had chemistry issues.

The Sixers are likely to have a new coach next season. Whoever that is will have quite the job ahead of them. No matter what Embiid says, there’s just something off about this team as currently constructed.

Brett Brown says 76ers are missing a real emotional player

Brett Brown

The Philadelphia 76ers have not shown much fight in their first two playoff games against the Boston Celtics. According to head coach Brett Brown, that may be a product of the team’s locker room makeup.

Following Philadelphia’s 128-101 loss to the Celtics on Thursday night, Brown indicated that the Sixers are lacking a true emotional player.

“There’s nobody in that locker room that’s a kick-a-chair, throw-a-towel, flip-a-desk kind of player,” Brown said, per Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times. “And that’s OK.”

Brown had to have had Jimmy Butler in mind when he made that remark. Butler is regarded as one of the most intense, hard-working players in the NBA, and the 76ers sent him to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade last offseason.

Butler cares so much about winning that he has clashed with teammates in the past who do not match his intensity. He also had security called on him at the Orlando bubble because he was making so much noise working out.

While Butler may rub some people the wrong way, his passion for the game can elevate teammates in certain spots. The Sixers have been missing that this season, and it’s showing in the playoffs.

Sixers considering change to starting lineup for playoffs

The Philadelphia 76ers are trying to make do with Ben Simmons injured, and that could mean throwing a different look at Boston in the first round.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said Sunday that he has considered moving rookie Matisse Thybulle into the starting lineup, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. Brown added that he expects Thybulle to have a “major” role defensively.

Al Horford moved into the starting lineup for Philly after Simmons’ injury with Shake Milton taking on the bulk of ball-handling duties. However, the Celtics are a team that downsizes by playing Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis (both 6-foot-8) as their 4 and 5, so the Sixers may want to match that style.

The 23-year-old Thybulle, a defensive pest and energetic hustle player, has become a star in Orlando with his popular YouTube vlog series documenting life in the bubble. He now stands to benefit from some of the creative lineup combinations that the Sixers will have to throw out there now that Simmons is possibly finished for the year.

Joel Embiid gets $95 million of his contract guaranteed due to shortened season

Joel Embiid

The NBA stands to lose a significant amount of money from its shortened season, but Joel Embiid is one player who may have actually benefitted from the sports world coming to a screeching halt three months ago.

Embiid signed a five-year, $148 million maximum contract extension with the Philadelphia 76ers back in 2017. Because of the star big man’s lengthy injury history, a clause was put into the contract stating that Embiid must play a certain number of minutes in order for the final three years and $95 million of the deal to become guaranteed. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne noted this week, Embiid has officially met the minutes-played criteria because of the shortened season.

The NBA and NBA Players Association recently finalized a deal that states all performance bonuses and incentives will be prorated using March 11 as the end date of the regular season. Embiid needed to play 1,650 minutes this season to fully guarantee his contract, but the minimum was lowered to below the 1,329 minutes he has already played when prorated over 65 games.

Embiid has averaged 30.2 minutes per game this season, and he would have hit the original minimum if he continued to play a similar number of minutes over the 76ers’ final 17 games. There’s always a possibility of an injury, however, and that is now something the 26-year-old does not have to worry about.

Of course, the 76ers aren’t upset to have Embiid under contract for three more years. The big man has been named an All-Star in three straight seasons and averaged 24.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game since not playing at all his first two-plus years in the league. He’s even made some brave dietary sacrifices to remain in shape, so paying him is certainly worth the risk.

Biggest questions facing Eastern Conference’s best teams

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The NBA is set to return to action at the end of July, and numerous questions pertaining to the logistics of the league’s plan remain. While we are learning the answers to those questions gradually, NBA teams must now question how they will perform when the season does return.

With playoff basketball on the horizon, here are the most critical questions surrounding the championship contenders in the Eastern Conference.