After a quick courtship and negotiation, Doc Rivers struck a deal on a five-year deal to become the next Philadelphia 76ers manager, ESPN sources told Thursday.
Rivers’ deal with the Sixers comes just three days after he split from the LA Clippers. It also means that he will return to the Atlantic Division, where he will be the main rival of the Boston Celtics, with whom Rivers won an NBA title in 2009 as a manager.
Sixers CEO Elton Brand reached out to Rivers and his agent, Lonnie Cooper, on Monday to assess interest in Sixers’ work. Rivers was soon on a flight to Philadelphia, where on Wednesday, during a meeting with Brand, owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, the parties quickly moved towards negotiating a multi-year deal.
|Celtics ’04 -’05||45-37||+9|
|Magic ’99 -’00||41-41||+8|
|* Win diff. from the season before Rivers arrived|
Rivers takes over a Sixers team that lost in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and continues to consider changes to a roster that Brand remains determined to build around the All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
There is also hope that a reunion with Rivers may have an impact to advance Tobias Harris by maximizing his play with the Sixers. Before the Clippers handed Harris to the Sixers in February 2019, Harris was having his best NBA season under Rivers, averaging 20.9 points on 50% of shots from the field and 43% from the 3-point line.
Rivers was a late entry into a process that had become increasingly focused on former Houston Rockets manager Mike D’Antoni.
Rivers had been intrigued enough by the list, the market, and the organization to fly from the west coast to sit down with the Philadelphia hierarchy.
It happens to Brett Brown, who had the job for seven seasons but was fired after the 76ers were swept out of Boston in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Philadelphia hasn’t won an NBA championship since 1983.
Embiid welcomed Rivers on Twitter, saying he was “excited about the future and what we’re building here”.
– Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) 1 October 2020
Rivers, 58, still had a two-year contract with the Clippers, the sources say, so he owes him a hefty sum of money, although there are typically payment compensation arrangements put in place in the event that a manager comes. hired for a new job.
In Rivers’ seven seasons at the helm, the Clippers have gone 356-208, winning 63.1% of their regular-season games – the fifth-best record in the NBA and the best of any team without a conference finals appearance.
The Clippers went 49-23 during this regular season, the fourth-best record in franchise history, but wasted a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference semi-finals against the Denver Nuggets, giving up the 16, 19 and 12 lead. points like the The drought of the franchise’s Western Conference Finals has reached 50 years.
Rivers has been the manager in five of the Clippers’ best six regular seasons, but has gone 3-8 in potential series playoff games with the Clippers, tied for worst score by a single manager with a team.
Rivers, who has also coached the Orlando Magic in addition to the Clippers and Celtics, has scored 943 career wins, the eleventh more from an all-time manager.
Sixers assistant coach Kevin Young also interviewed for the head coach job and made a strong impression on the organization, the sources said.
The Sixers also interviewed Clippers assistant Ty Lue this week, the sources said, but Lue is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Rivers with the Clippers. The Clippers have plans to interview other candidates, starting soon, the sources said.
The New Orleans Pelicans also plan to interview Lue in the near future, the sources say. Lue and David Griffin, executive vice president of basketball operations at Lue and Pelicans, have strong ties, most notably teaming up to win an NBA title in Cleveland in 2016.