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Top 2023-24 Head Coach Candidates For This Desperate NBA Team

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

With the NBA Playoffs now entering the Conference Finals, teams who are eliminated have to start thinking about changes. So far, we have seen the Suns and 76ers fire their head coach after second round exits in the Playoffs. The Suns are just two years removed from an NBA Finals appearance and now Monty Williams is gone. Doc Rivers was with Philly for three seasons and all three ended in a second round exit.

Monty Williams had plenty of success in Phoenix but the 76ers are the real concern here. With a roster loaded with stars, this team needs a leader to get them over the hurdle of the second round. Doc Rivers got this team close but still not close enough. That being said, here are some of the top candidates to become the next head coach for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Monty Williams

Benefits: Williams has established himself as one of the best coaches in the NBA. He won Coach of the Year in 2021 after getting the Suns to the Finals for the first time in 30 years. Williams is all about building a strong culture and right now the 76ers need someone to create an entirely new culture. If Philly is serious about getting a new and improved team, Williams has the potential.

Negatives: Obviously the glaring negatives around Williams are the fact that the Suns have gotten embarrassed the last two Playoffs. In Game Six this year, Denver smoked them by 25 to end their season. In 2022, the Suns blew a 3-2 lead against the Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals and lost in Game Seven by 33 points. Those losses could force teams like the 76ers to steer clear of Williams as their next head coach.

Frank Vogel

Benefits: Vogel, alongside guys like Mike Budenholzer, are coaches that have won one of the last three titles but are now jobless. Vogel was the mastermind behind the dominant Pacers teams of the 2010s and led the Lakers to their title in the bubble in 2020. He is a defensive minded head coach which could elevate an already stout defense built by Doc Rivers to a new level. Maybe the only other route is to pair him with an offensive genius assistant coach and get the best of both worlds.

Negatives: There are not many negatives here other than Vogel was dropped after failing to make the play-in tournament in the 2021-22 season after going 33-49. Vogel has shown glimpses of being a good head coach but being out of the game for a year now and having a bad ending in LA could steer the 76ers away.

Nick Nurse

Benefits: Nick Nurse has to be the best candidate out there for Philly. He is one of the best coaches in the NBA and only three years removed from winning Coach of the Year. Nurse took the Raptors to their first title in franchise history so he knows how to win. He is one of the more creative head coaches in the NBA and right now Philly could use creativity to find out how to win a title.

Negatives: Nurse likes to rely heavily on his starters both in production and minutes. With Joel Embiid being injury prone recently and James Harden being in his mid-30s, heavy minutes could be an issue. With so many different defensive combinations, Nurse did lack a bit of creativity in the half-court offense. If Philly wants to find new ways to win, Nurse would obviously have to get innovative on offense with a new set of star players at his disposal.

Final Thoughts

If the 76ers hope to improve as a playoff team, finding the right head coach is step one. Going through coaches is not the way to do it and exiting in the second round certainly does not help. If Philly hopes to keep James Harden and Joel Embiid happy, they have to find the right guy here. Nick Nurse is the best candidate for head coach but Philly must decide who they want, not me the guy writing this from his living room.


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