On Tuesday, the Philadelphia 76ers revealed that they had fired coach Doc Rivers.
The Boston Celtics won Game 7 112-88 on Sunday, eliminating the Philadelphia 76ers from the Eastern Conference playoffs for the third consecutive year.
Mike Budenholzer, Sam Cassell, Mike D’Antoni, Nick Nurse, Frank Vogel, and Monty Williams are reportedly candidates for the position of head coach in the hunt, according to sources who spoke to ESPN.
In his three seasons, Rivers produced a 154-82 (.653) record, including 54 wins in 2022–23, the highest for the team since 2000–01. According to analysis by ESPN Stats & Information, three teams were in the top 10 in terms of both offensive and defensive effectiveness, and the Sixers were one of them.
Daryl Morey, president of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, said in a statement that Doc is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history and a potential Hall of Famer. We appreciate all he accomplished over his three seasons with us and want to express our gratitude for his significant contribution to our team.
Philadelphia joins other clubs who have head-coaching jobs, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, and Detroit Pistons.
Rivers lost for the 10th time in a Game 7, including five in a row, after posting his 16th consecutive winning season as a head coach. Rivers has now dropped games with a chance to advance to the conference finals nine times in a row with the loss to the Celtics.
Now, as Philadelphia enters the summer, they must deal with James Harden’s approaching free agency in addition to looking for Rivers’ replacement.
Harden was questioned about his connection with Rivers and if he thought the coach should stay on as the team’s coach for a fourth season after Sunday’s Game 7 defeat in Boston.
Simply responding, Harden stated, “Our relationship is OK.”
After accepting a price cut to assist Philadelphia in signing former Rockets teammates P.J. Tucker and Danuel House last summer, Harden now has a player option for the next season for $35.6 million.
According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, if Harden chooses to opt out of his contract, he will be able to negotiate a four-year, $202 million deal with a different club or a four-year, $210 million deal to stay in Philadelphia. Due to the over-38 restriction in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the 76ers are unable to sign Harden for a fifth season even though they have his Bird rights.
Philadelphia will still lack the financial room to replace Harden if he leaves in free agency. Instead, the 76ers will be able to use the whole midlevel exception, which is worth a little over $12 million, to attempt to bolster their squad.
In a major transaction that brought Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond to Brooklyn in February 2022, Harden was acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers after a difficult 13 months with the Brooklyn Nets.
This season, Harden averaged 21 points and 10.7 assists, helping Joel Embiid win the league MVP award for the first time. He also joined Embiid as the first teammates since George Gervin and Johnny Moore of the San Antonio Spurs in 1982 to win both the scoring and assist championships for a season.
In Philadelphia’s three victories against Boston, Harden had a shooting percentage of 37 for 61 (60.6%), scoring 45 points in Game 1 with Joel Embiid out due to injury and 42 points in Game 4, but in the four defeats, including Game 7, he had a percentage of 12-for-55 (21.8%).