While the Philadelphia 76ers are in the process of gearing up for a conclusion to the 2019-20 NBA season, a team that won’t be headed down to Orlando has shown some serious interest in the Sixers’ staff. In a report published by Joe Cowley of the “Chicago Sun-Times“, it was revealed that Sixers’ assistant coach Ime Udoka has emerged as the front-runner for the Chicago Bulls head coaching job.
“Sources have told the Sun-Times that Philadelphia assistant coach Ime Udoka is the front-runner to become the new head coach, with Toronto assistant coach [and former Bulls assistant] Adrian Griffin also right there on the doorstep.”
After a disastrous season in which head coach Jim Boylen repeatedly had issues with his players, it’s no surprise that the Bulls have begun their search for a replacement. The Bulls finished the year 22-43, making them ineligible to participate in the NBA’s resumed season. Now with plenty of free time to spare, the Bulls organization can devote 100% of their efforts into finally nailing their coaching hire.
A former player, Udoka has been hailed as one of the more qualified assistant coaches currently in the NBA. Udoka was an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs under Greg Poppovich for seven years, helping the organization capture a championship in 2014. Udoka also reportedly played a crucial role in bringing 7x All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge to San Antonio.
Udoka joined the 76ers in 2019, and while it’s challenging to point to his success as an assistant coach in Philadelphia considering the team’s struggles, he’s been consistently talked about as a future head coaching option. At just 42 years old, he brings an element of youth and creativity to the table.
While it’s great seeing Udoka continuing to succeed as an NBA coach, this could spell trouble for the Sixers. It’s no secret the organization is considering changing coaches after 2020 as well, and Udoka would likely be at the top of their list in terms of potential replacements. Seeing him leave for Chicago gives the 76ers one less option to choose from should they decide to move off Brett Brown.
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