Sixers Add Mike D’Antoni to list of Head Coaching Candidates

NBA: DEC 07 Suns at Rockets
HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 07: Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni conducts a post game press conference after 115 – 109 win over the Phoenix Suns on December 7, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. (Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire)

Earlier today, Houston Rockets Head Coach Mike D’Antoni informed the team that he will not return next season. Instead, D’Antoni decided to become a free agent.

Literal minutes after the news broke, Adrian Wojnarowski leaked that the Philadelphia 76ers are considering D’Antoni for their vacant Head Coach position.

On one hand, it makes sense that the Sixers would be interested in D’Antoni. He was an assistant coach with the team back in 2015. D’Antoni also has a mostly positive reputation along with ties to the organization. While it is still possible that he returns to Houston, early indications show this isn’t likely. The Rockets’ potential seems to be maxed out, at least under their current roster construction. The Sixers meanwhile are full of untapped potential.

In D’Antoni’s mind, it would certainly be an exciting idea to head up a team boasting young stars like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. This is especially true considering his familiarity with Embiid.

Now, this is by no means an endorsement of D’Antoni but rather the facts that rationalize the Sixers’ interest. D’Antoni joins a long list of candidates the Sixers are considering including Tyronn Lue and Billy Donovan.

Known for his up-tempo offensive teams, it’s clear to see how D’Antoni and Ben Simmons fit. The issue that would present itself is the fit with Joel Embiid. D’Antoni has never coached a star center. He has plenty of experience with former All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire, but that’s a completely different kind of big man.

While it would be interesting to see how D’Antonio would employ Embiid, it’s not an experiment Sixers fans should be pining for. Time will tell if any interest in Mike D’Antoni is legitimate or if it’s mutual. Until then we will closely monitor the Sixers search for a Head Coach.

Mandatory Credit – John Rivera/Icon Sportswire