Ranking the Sixers’ top targets to replace Brett Brown


Sixers’ Top Options

5. Becky Hammon

Becky Hammon will be an NBA Head Coach one day. The NBA’s first full-time female Assistant Coach is clearly one of the bright minds in basketball.

A member of the Greg Popovich coaching tree, Hammon has shown her worth on the sidelines and even coached the Spurs Summer League team to a title win as the Head Coach.

Yes, Brett Brown was also apart of the said tree but that should have no part in the decision. Brett Brown’s faults are not Becky Hammon’s though. Hammon is much more technically proficient than Brown. Her mind understands the X’s and O’s on a level far exceeding Brown’s.

Unfortunately, Hammon is not likely to get the job, and once again it is through no fault of her own. Wherever Hammon goes a large amount of unwanted national attention will follow. She will be highly scrutinized at the drop of a hat and while I fully believe she can handle that, I’m not sure many NBA teams are.

The Sixers are under enough pressure as is, they’re not likely to add to it by pursuing Hammon.

4. Kenny Atkinson

Kenny Atkinson is officially on the market after “mutually parting ways” with the Brooklyn Nets. He’s on the market because he did not cave to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. In his time with the Nets, Atkinson showed himself to be a quality player development specialist.

Under Atkinson, the Nets saw the rise of Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and Joe Harris. D’Angelo Russell even had the best season of his career under Atkinson.

He is a very knowledgeable coach who will improve his next franchise. He is however a very guard-focused coach while the Sixers’ stars are a forward and a center.

So it’s easy to ask, why Atkinson? Wouldn’t he be better for a rebuild or at least a team lead by a guard?

It’s a fair question but there is one important fact to keep in mind. The Sixers’ are not done.

As much as it stings to hear that the truth is that the roster is far finished. There are countless poor fits across the squad and change will come.

Keeping Simmons at a Forward position (not exclusively Power Forward) and bringing in one or more quality Guards and it’s a non-issue. Not only that but the team would flow better on both sides of the court.

Atkinson is a great X’s and O’s mind, is more than a “rebuilding coach”, and he can bring a locker room together in a way they couldn’t find last season. The Sixers should take a long hard look at him as he may be a great fit if the roster sees enough of a makeover.

3. Adrian Griffin

If you don’t know him yet, you will. The lead assistant coach on the Toronto Raptors’ bench, Adrian Griffin may be the biggest name of the first time Head Coach prospects.

After an eight-year playing career, Griffin very quickly moved on to a career in coaching. He’s coached for  Milwaukee, Chicago, Orlando, and Oklahoma City before joining Nick Nurse’s staff in Toronto.

Griffin is also credited in part for the Toronto Raptors championship during the 2018-19 season. A defensive-minded Head Coach, many feel he is the man responsible for the defense that is somehow elite no matter who is on the court.

A defensive prodigy like Griffin could grow with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and turn this team into a true contender.

There’s some risk with hiring a first-time coach but the mere chance that Griffin is as advertised makes it a risk worth taking.

2. Stan Van Gundy

Admittedly not my first choice, at least not before looking deeper. Van Gundy is one of the names often associated with the Sixers’ Head Coaching vacancy. While he may be a bit old fashioned he does have experience coaching dominant Centers.

His time in Orlando and his experience with Dwight Howard are two huge factors playing into his fit with Philly. While he never won a championship, he did reach the NBA Finals and he never had much more than Dwight Howard.

Hedo Türkoğlu, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, and JJ Reddick were all good players but none of them were stars. Even in the early 2000s, Van Gundy understood how to build a winning team around a star Center. Shooting.

Van Gundy has the playoff experience, personality management experience, and understanding of roster construction needed to help this Sixers team. He could be a great leader for this Sixers’ team.

1. Jacque Vaughn

Currently the interim Head Coach for the Brooklyn Nets, Vaughn may already have his next job in Brooklyn. Vaughn did a tremendous job with the Nets in the bubble and while they were recently swept by the Toronto Raptors, the team was missing four of their top five players.

Vaughn also has experience as an NBA Head Coach. Like Van Gundy, Vaughn was the Head Coach for the Orlando Magic leading the team from 2012-2015.

What’s really impressive about Jacque Vaughn is his knowledge of the game. From an X’s and O’s perspective Vaughn is near the top of this list but that doesn’t mean he can’t relate to his players.

The Nets are most likely not going to promote Vaughn as he’s still a little more of a free spirit than what Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are looking for. The team is more likely to target Ty Lue although the Sixer’s suppossedly have an interest as well.

Vaughn has the know-how, the experience, and the personality to take this Sixers team where they want to go. There are other quality choices but Jacque Vaughn is the best “man” for the job.