The Sixers' head coaching search took a sharp left turn on Monday when the Clippers and head coach Doc Rivers parted ways.
After weeks of rumblings building towards a potential Mike D'Antoni hire in Philly, Rivers is suddenly right in the thick of things in Camden.
The team brought former Cavs head coach and Clippers assistant Ty Lue in for an interview on Tuesday, but it sounds like Rivers may have jumped all the way to the front of the line in the organization's search for its next steward.
On Tuesday, former NBAer and current NBA commentator Kendrick Perkins - who played for Rivers for years in Boston - provided some insight into the Sixers-Rivers chatter:
"I've heard he's having a lot of conversations with the Philadelphia 76ers right now. That's where he's getting the most interest."
Perkins then followed up that comment with something stronger:
Perkins isn't a top NBA newsbreaker, but he does have a history of being early with news when it comes to his guys. Last July, Perkins broke the news of Rajon Rondo signing with the Lakers before guys like ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news. Rondo, of course, played with Perkins in Boston during the Celtics' Big Three era.
And you might remember that one Doc Rivers was at the helm of those Celtics teams. Perkins has a unique relationship with Rivers, and to this day remains in a group chat with Perkins, Rondo, and other notable Celtics from those teams, where they all talk about basketball and life. Presumably, something like Rivers having numerous conversations with the Sixers might come up in that group chat as Rivers' former players wonder where he's headed.
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Noah Levick examined the case for Rivers as head coach on Tuesday:
"Though there’s no direct parallel in Rivers’ coaching past to Simmons or Embiid, one imagines the on-court task wouldn’t be hopelessly beyond him as long as the roster around the Sixers’ two All-Stars fits better than it did this past season. Rivers has coached creative playmakers like Rajon Rondo and Paul, exceptional athletes like Blake Griffin and rim protectors like DeAndre Jordan. This will almost certainly be a very difficult position but, at a bare minimum, Rivers should have a clue or two. Perhaps an approximation of something that worked for him before could click here."
Only time will tell who the Sixers will hire, but it seems there could be a new leader in the clubhouse.