Report: Sixers Expected to Interview D’Antoni and Donovan
The Sixers could begin interviewing coaches as early as this week, according to KRON TV sports director Jason Dumas, with Mike D'Antoni and Billy Donovan expected to be in Camden to meet with the Sixers brass.
The Sixers fired Brett Brown after seven years on the job back on Aug 24.
On Wednesday, Philadelphia Inquire Sixers beat writer Keith Pompey indicated that the job may be D’Antoni’s to lose.
"I can't think of a worse fit," said Yahoo! NBA writer Keith Smith on The Sports Bash. "That is like jamming a square peg in a round hole. That will not work without major changes to the roster."
D'Antoni stepped down as the Rockets head coach after four seasons, where the Rockets were one of the top scoring teams in the NBA. Houston also led the NBA in attempted 3-pointers per game in each of his four seasons, with 45.5 this year, 45.1 last year, 41.9 and 40.1 during this first season with the Rockets.
The Sixers attempted 31.5 per game this season, 23rd best in the league.
During his tenure, Houston went 217-101 (.682) and won at least one playoff series in each of those four years, earning Coach of the Year honors in 2017.
The Sixers top two players, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, don't seem to fit D'Antoni's style. The last time D'Antoni coached a big man, Shaquille O'Neal, it did not go well and mark the end of his time in Phoenix. As for Simmons, there is really no role for a non-shooter in a D'Antoni offense, which is why the Rockets parted ways with Clint Capella.
"That fit just seems to be really messy unless your committed to making a major roster overhaul," Smith stated.
As for Donovan, he and the Thunder parted ways after their playoff loss to the Rockets. His name was almost immediately brought up as a replacement for Brown after five solid years in Oklahoma City.
"I think he'd be a great coach for Philadelphia," said Smith. "I think he'd do a really good job. The Sixers have better pieces than what Oklahoma City had and Donovan had really good success with."
Smith explained how Donovan was able to succeed with a poor shooting guard, Russell Westbrook and stated that Joel Embiid is also a much better version than Steven Adams.