The Philadelphia 76ers’ coaching search has led to a number of names getting linked to Brett Brown’s old job in recent weeks. Perhaps the most interesting name that’s been bandied about is former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, who was an assistant in Philadelphia at one point and would theoretically bring a new mentality to a team that desperately needs a breath of fresh air.
There is a lot to potentially like about how D’Antoni would work in Philly, so long as he’s not demanding that his gigantic team doesn’t play at a breakneck pace and launch threes like the fate of the world depends on it. But a new rumor indicates that signing him wouldn’t just be about trying to win now, as the Sixers would apparently have their eyes on a big name somewhere down the road.
Per John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia, people who make up the team’s brain trust believe that there’s a chance D’Antoni could get James Harden to come to the City of Brotherly Love when his contract is up at the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign, or before then in the event of a trade.
I’m hearing one of the reasons along with coaching that Sixers have a lot of interest in Mike D’Antoni is feeling with some in organization that he could help lure James Harden to Philly
Harden can become a free agent in 2 years and there is possibility of trade pic.twitter.com/gJVecCuhHN
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 24, 2020
Now obviously, if the Sixers want to hire D’Antoni largely because they think it would help them get a 33-year-old Harden, that would be extremely wild. For how great Harden is, mapping things out that far in advance when you already have Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, and Ben Simmons seems like a … let’s call it perplexing decision. Still, we’ll dog ear this one in the event the team does end up hiring D’Antoni and check back in at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season to see what Harden’s up to.