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Report: Sixers looking to narrow head coaching search in next 10 days

Mike D’Antoni, Billy Donovan and Tyronn Lue are all expected to be on a shortlist for Philly’s opening.

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Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets reacts against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first quarter in Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at the Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 29, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to narrow down their list for a new head coach in the next 10 days with another round of interviews coming, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday. On that short list for the next round of interviews is Mike D’Antoni, Billy Donovan and Tyronn Lue. All three are being strongly considered for the position, per Shams.

D’Antoni and Donovan were each bounced from the postseason in consecutive rounds. D’Antoni and the Rockets took down Donovan and the Thunder before the Lakers eliminated D’Antoni and the Rockets in five games next round. Lue had been in the NBA bubble until the Clippers were eliminated by the Nuggets in Game 7. So all three can set their sights on becoming the next head coach of the Sixers. There had been a report a few weeks back that Lue was going to be hired for the job.

The Sixers fired coach Brett Brown after being swept out of the first round by the Celtics. Brown had underachieved in the playoffs, though it wasn’t his fault injuries were always a factor. Ben Simmons wasn’t able to play after injuring his knee before the first round. Without Simmons, the Sixers struggled on offense, though many believed they’d at least put up a fight, win a game or two. That wasn’t the case and this has been the case for Brown’s teams the past couple of seasons.

Philly appears adamant about keeping both Simmons and All-Star C Joel Embiid together as the core moving forward. Many have speculated that the two can’t win together and one should be shipped out now while each has peak value. We could still see that, though it doesn’t appear to be the plan for GM Elton Brand. So the Sixers will need to find a coach to get the most out of the roster as currently constructed. Philly doesn’t have much cap flexibility with bloated contracts like Tobias Harris and Al Horford.