It was initially believed that Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw was an early front-runner for the vacant Philadelphia 76ers head coaching gig, but it now looks like the team is prepared to do their due diligence and interview a number of the top assistants from around the NBA.
The latest two names to surface are Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone and Jeff Hornacek of the Utah Jazz.
Malone is considered a serious candidate for the Sixers job. The Sixers have been doing a great deal of research on Malone and getting excellent feedback, sources said.
Malone has been a top assistant under Mark Jackson (Golden State), Monty Williams (New Orleans) and Mike Brown (Cleveland). Over the past two years with the Warriors, he’s been the NBA’s top-paid assistant coach.
Hornacek played two seasons (1992-94) with the Sixers in his 14-year NBA playing career. He’s been an assistant with the Jazz for two seasons now. He could be considered a candidate with the Phoenix Suns, where he played the first six years of his NBA career and still keeps a home. Phoenix won’t start its coaching search until it hires a general manager.
It is clear that the 76ers are dedicated to finding a hot coaching candidate to replace Doug Collins on the bench, but all of the names that they have been looking at will also get opportunities elsewhere.
Unfortunately for the 76ers, the cupboards are pretty bare and the lack of a true star and the uncertainty of Andrew Bynum could scare some coaches away from the potential opportunity in the City of Brotherly Love.