Tuesday morning, the first domino fell in what should be an incredibly interesting offseason for the Philadelphia 76ers. With 2 years remaining on his contract, the Sixers relieved Doc Rivers of his duties as Head Coach following another 2nd round exit under his supervision. It wasn’t necessarily a surprising move; people have speculated about Rivers’ future in Philly since the series loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2nd round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. But, with everything on the table to try and salvage the Sixers’ championship window, there were plenty of questions as to whether or not the team would stick with Rivers. Well, now we have that answer, and the team will immediately begin a search for a new coach. This will be Joel Embiid’s 3rd coach in his NBA career, and the pressure is rising for whoever takes over to find a way to build a championship team around the big man. There’s a lot on the line with this hire from both sides of the coin, but the good news is this: it’s a great time to be looking for an NBA Head Coach.

Just look at the names that are currently available. It’s certainly not a list of bottom feeders. With a lot of teams in transitional periods around the Association, there are some strong candidates that could be brought into Philly to try and push this team one last time. According to this tweet from NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers are certainly gunning for one of the top names:

The only names on that list that I wouldn’t be thrilled with would be Mike D’Antoni and Frank Vogel, and they’re both solid NBA coaches. Mike Budenholzer is a recent NBA championship winner, as is Nick Nurse. Monty Williams was the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2022. And Sam Cassell, though the least experienced of those options, has clearly developed a strong relationship with this group of players. It’s rare that you have 1 championship-winning head coach available in an offseason, much less 2 guys who have won in the past 5 seasons and a Coach of the Year winner. If I had my choice, I would prefer Monty Williams, who would be swapping Conferences, unlike Budenholzer and Nurse. He’s also the most recent Coach of the Year, even though Budenholzer and Nurse have both won the award in the past 5 seasons. None of the options are bad options, though.

The problem is that a good option is not good enough. The Sixers are in dire straits right now, or possibly even past the point of that expression. They’re either on the precipice of falling into another rebuild or already falling down into that chasm depending on who you ask. They need a coach who is not just solid, but one that can transform this team into a true championship contender and not just a 2nd round exit. Good isn’t good enough anymore. That might lead to some apprehension in taking the Sixers’ job, but with the opportunity to work with the MVP of the league, it shouldn’t be hard to overcome those concerns. There are some good options, but the stakes are high, and this might be the last chance to get this thing right. Hopefully, Daryl Morey and the Sixers’ brass make the right call to get the most out of the Sixers’ final chances of this era.

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6 Biggest Takeaways From The Daryl Morey Press Conference

Things did not go well for the Sixers in this Post-Season. once again, they got booted in the 2nd round. But this time may be the worst of the 5 2nd round exits they had. Not only did they blow a 3-2 lead. But they lost game 6 and home and then got blown out in Boston to end their season. Following the loss, Doc Rivers lost his job. The Sixers announced that decision two days after the game 7 loss. And to discuss that decision, Daryl Morey spoke to the media today.

The pressure is now on Daryl Morey. Doc Rivers was not his hire. But this next coach will be. And if the team fails again, the spotlight might move from the coach to Daryl Morey. He never could quite get it done in Houston, despite a lot of regular season success. And it has been the same story here in Philadelphia. He brought in his guy James Harden. He got to mold the roster to his vision, and that roster came up short again. If it happened again, it would be his roster, his coach, who could not get the job done. That would fall on him.

So what did Morey have to say today? What are they looking for in a head coach? Will they look to bring James Harden back? How much work does Daryl Morey think they have to do to fix these issues? He was asked about all of that. Some he answered. Others in typical front office fashion, he dodged. But there were some interesting takeaways from the press conference.

Here are the 6 Biggest takeaways from the Daryl Morey Press Conference:

  • Joel Embiid Was Not Happy About Doc Rivers Being Fired

    Stephen A Smith reported that Joel Embiid was not happy that Doc Rivers lost his job. And Daryl Morey confirmed that in his press conference. He noted that Embiid was very close with Doc Rivers, and was shocked and disappointed by the trade. He also noted that Embiid was upset by a certain player being traded, though he did not say who that was specifically. Hopefully, Embiid will take that as blaming himself for someone he likes losing their job, and pick up his play when it matters.

  • Championship Pedigree A Factor, Not a Litmus Test for Next Coach

    Daryl Morey was asked how much having experience winning as a head coach will factor into who he hires. Morey stopped short of outright saying the next coach has to have that experience. But it certainly seemed to be important. He said having a guy who won before, can lend a coach credibility. Morey compared it to bringing in PJ Tucker last year, and that being able to tell guys you have won it before has a lot of value in the locker room. So don’t be surprised if whoever Morey hires is someone who already has a ring on their hand. Frank Vogel, Mike Budenholzer, and Nick Nurse all fit that criteria.

  • Wants Harden Back, But Prepared If He Leaves

    Morey could not get into his actual plans without violating tampering rules, but he was asked about James Harden several times. Harden opted out, with the news breaking during his press conference. Morey said they would like to have Harden back, and will make that a priority, but thinks the team can stay competitive if he does leave. Morey pointed to the fact they have an MVP on the roster, which is a jump over most rosters to start

  • Don't Expect a Quick Hire

    Morey also noted that they will not rush this process (and apologized for using the word process). Morey said they will take a careful approach with the next hire. There are a lot of candidates, and they want to look at all of them before rushing into a hire. Morey noted it should be a popular job opening given the fact the roster has Joel Embiid on it. So it may be a while before we hear who is replacing Doc Rivers.

  • Players Wont Have Imput In The Next Head Coach

    Morey is not going to be running candidates by Joel Embiid or any other Sixers players on the roster. He did say he will be looking for a coach who fits what they already have. But also said that the players will not be consulted on who they want to be the coach. So while he may look for a coach who has experience with teams where the big man is a Star, he won’t run that choice by Joel Embiid himself.

  • Embiid Did Take Accountability To Front Office

    Morey said he had discussions with a lot of the players since the game 7 loss happened. He said they all took accountability for what they did wrong. he also noted that Embbid specifically wanted to work on ways to improve his performance in the playoffs. And Morey said that he does not think it is necessarily fair to judge players by what they say directly after a loss like that when they have a mic in their face.