After a quick courtship and negotiations, Doc Rivers reached an agreement to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
The Rivers deal with the Sixers will come just three days after the LA Clippers leave. It also returned him to the Atlantic Division where he would be the chief rival of the Boston Celtics, where Rivers won the NBA title in 2009 as coach.
Sixers general manager Elton Brand on Monday reached out to Rivers and his agent Lonnie Cooper, to measure interest in Sixers’ work. Rivers is close to a flight to Philadelphia where on Wednesday meetings with Brand, owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer the parties quickly moved towards negotiating a multi-year agreement.
Rivers picked up a team of Sixers who lost the first play of the Eastern Conference playoffs and continues to consider changes to a list that Brand remains determined to build around All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
Rivers is a late entry into a process that has become increasingly focused on former Houston Rockets coach Mike D̵7;Antoni.
The rivers are intriguing enough with listings, markets and organizations to fly from the west coast to sit in the Philadelphia hierarchy.
Rivers, 58, has two years left on his contract with the Clippers, sources said, so he remains in debt a large amount of money, although there are usually offset payment agreements to be made if a coach is hired in a new job.
In Rivers’ seven seasons at the helm, the Clippers went 356-208, winning 63.1% of their regular season games – the fifth best NBA record and the best of any team without a conference finals. .
The Clippers went 49-23 this regular season, the fourth best record in franchise history, but they wasted a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals against the Denver Nuggets, who gave up the lead. with 16, 19 and 12 points as the franchise of the Western Conference finals drought lasted 50 years.
Rivers coached five of the Clippers’ six best regular seasons, but he went 3-8 in potential games in the playoff series with the Clippers, tied to the worst score of a single coach with a team.
Rivers ’943 career wins were the 11th most of a head coach of all time.
Sixers assistant coach Kevin Young was also interviewed for the head coaching job and made a strong impression on the organization, sources said.
The Sixers also interviewed Clippers assistant Ty Lue this week, sources said, but Lue is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Rivers with the Clippers. The Clippers are planning to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.
The New Orleans Pelicans plan to interview Lue in the near future as well, sources said. Lue and Pelicans Executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin have a strong relationship, most notably working together to win an NBA title in Cleveland in 2016.