Blazers assistant David Vanterpool emerges as serious candidate in 76ers' coaching search

Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach David Vanterpool interviewed for the Philadelphia 76ers' head coaching opening on Monday and has emerged as a serious candidate for the job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie has moved deliberately on the search, interviewing multiple candidates, but Vanterpool has risen into legitimate consideration, league sources said.

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown and Boston Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga are among the coaches who have made strong impressions in the process, sources said. Michael Curry, who remains from Doug Collins' coaching staff, is the strongest internal consideration.

Vanterpool made an immense impression with management, coaches and players in his first season on the Blazers' staff under Terry Stotts, and many in the league view him as a future head coach in the league. Vanterpool works closely with the NBA's rookie of the year, Damian Lilliard, with the Blazers.

After finishing his playing career with CSKA Moscow under legendary Euroleague coach Ettore Messina, Vanterpool, 40, spent three seasons as an assistant coach with Messina. Vanterpool was an undrafted free agent out of St. Bonaventure who reached the NBA briefly with Washington and had a successful career in the Continental Basketball Association, China, Russia and Italy.

The Oklahoma City Thunder hired Vanterpool as director of player personnel in 2010, and he quickly became a coveted commodity for front-office jobs in the NBA. He could've been on a fast path to a GM job, but his love for coaching pushed him back to accept an assistant coaching job on Stotts' staff a year ago.