With a tumultuous Sixers offseason just beginning, the rumors have already begun to swirl in Philadelphia about the future of some of the team’s big pieces. It seems that everyone is in question, from the last man on the bench to even Joel Embiid and Head Coach Doc Rivers. Now, Embiid will be back next year despite some cryptic tweets he put out yesterday, but the future of Doc Rivers? That one is very much up in the air. Well, at least if you believe some rumors that have been circulating since the Sixers were ousted in the 2nd round for the 4th time in 5 years. Daryl Morey said in his year-end press conference that Doc won’t be going anywhere, but since when do we trust GMs/Presidents of Operations in this town? Let’s take a look at some of the details and see if we can answer that question ourselves, before the Sixers take the floor again this fall.
Well, first of all we need to look at the contract. Doc Rivers is still owed money through the 2024-25 season, meaning that if the Sixers were to move on from him they would have to buy out the remainder of that contract. The team just finished up paying the remainder of Brett Brown’s salary, and it seems like it would be unlikely for the organization to follow that up by paying another coach for 2 more years that isn’t coaching for the team. Point in favor of Rivers returning. On the other hand, there is the NBA “where there’s smoke there’s fire” theory that has proven correct in stranger scenarios than this one. There are multiple rumors about Doc trying to go out to Los Angeles and coach the Lakers, who currently have a head coaching vacancy. Do the Lakers want him? Does LeBron want him? Would he fit out there? There are differences in opinion on all of those, but with so many different stories coming out, it seems like there is some conversation at some level on the front. It’s a theory, but still, point for Doc leaving.
We still have a long offseason ahead of us, so things can change, but really all that matters is the Sixers’ opinion of Doc. That is the biggest factor, even with those other 2 points that we just weighed factoring in. As of right now, every indication is that Rivers is still valued significantly by the Sixers organization, and they do not want to move on from him. For the time being, that is where we will remain, and if I had to make a guess, I would bet that it is the result of the situation ultimately, but who knows. It seems like Rivers will be back, but stranger things have happened. It just seems that it will take a significant change in opinion across the Sixers organization for Doc to not be at the helm next season. For better or for worse, he’s probably here to stay.