The Philadelphia 76ers have been busy searching for a head coach to replace Doug Collins since the moment their season ended, and now they are set to interview two hot NBA coaching candidates. The Sixers have received permission to interview Utah Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek and Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
The interview process is expected to start next week, and Wojnarowski says Philadelphia has "been doing a great deal of research on Malone and getting excellent feedback," so he is considered a favorite to land the job. The Warriors are still alive in the playoffs, but the Sixers may be trying to meet with him on an off-day for Golden State to get in his ear before the postseason ends.
Malone has been handling a lot of the tactical, Xs-and-Os stuff for Golden State this season, and Nate Parham of Warriors blog Golden State of Mind thinks Malone has been a huge part of the team's success under Mark Jackson. Malone is the highest-paid assistant in the NBA.
Hornacek has spent the past two seasons working as an assistant in Utah, and he has some ties to Philadelphia from his playing career. He wore a Sixers uniform for two seasons from 1992-94. Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins are also reportedly under consideration as candidates.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports notes that Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale is another candidate on Philadelphia's list, so the process may take a while if they want to wait for the postseason to end for Miami and Indiana.
Michael Levin of Sixers blog Liberty Ballers notes that Philadelphia doesn't have the talent in place to compete for anything meaningful next season, so he's hoping the new coach brings an exciting up-tempo offense to the table (unless Andrew Bynum somehow re-signs in Philly and changes the calculus, of course):
Sure, there are some coaches that would help Jrue (and Thad and Arnett and Plumlee and... Evan?) more than others, but we have no way of knowing who those coaches are. We can identify the tangible strengths and weaknesses of players on the court, but coaches, for the most part, are translucent reflections of their team's talent playing one way or the other. I don't know if Brian Shaw do more for Jrue's career than Mike Budenholzer and neither do you.
So since it doesn't matter, give me the offense, please. Haven't we suffered enough?
The biggest asterisk to this whole thing -- whole blog, really -- is Andrew Bynum. I'd watch them run a Hornets-paced offense if it meant a healthy Bynum. Aesthetics matter when you suck. Bynum's preternatural aesthetic would be just enough for me.
For updates and analysis on the coaching search in Philadelphia, be sure to check out this StoryStream at Liberty Ballers.