76ers GM on coaching search: ‘We’re taking a careful process’

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY - FEBRUARY 15: President of basketball operations Daryl Morey looks on during a press conference at the Seventy Sixers Practice Facility on February 15, 2022 in Camden, New Jersey.

FILE–Philadelphia 76ers general manager Daryl Morey. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Philadelphia 76ers general manager Daryl Morey said Wednesday that the team plans to take its time in its approach toward naming a new head coach.

“We’re taking a careful process with the coach,” Morey said Wednesday, one day after the Sixers fired Doc Rivers.

“We don’t think it will move quickly. We have to be careful with the process word but it is true.”

Rivers led the 76ers to the Eastern Conference semifinal series in each of his three seasons at the helm. Third-seeded Philadelphia fell apart in the second half of Game 7 on Sunday and dropped a 112-88 decision to the second-seeded Boston Celtics.

Morey admitted Wednesday that he recommended the move to part ways with Rivers.

Doc Rivers 76ers NBA

Head coach Doc Rivers of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the second quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Wells Fargo Center on March 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

“My job is to evaluate everything and we felt like that was the best move for helping us get to our goals going forward,” Morey said. “It was carefully thought out and I recommended it to ownership and they accepted it.”

Per ESPN, the 76ers’ search for a new coach is expected to include Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Nick Nurse, Frank Vogel and Monty Williams.

Morey also said Wednesday that newly minted NBA MVP Joel Embiid — or any other player on the 76ers’ roster — will not have a say in the identity of the new coach.

Which brings us to James Harden, who is expected to decline the $35.6 million option on his contract and become a free agent. Morey admitted that the 76ers “are interested in bringing him back,” however he also said the team would get creative if it doesn’t come to pass.

“There’s like 26 teams that would rather have our roster,” Morey said. “We’re starting with the MVP of the league. The draft lottery yesterday was hoping to get a top pick to hope that player becomes as good as the MVP of the league. We’re starting in a great spot.”

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