The Philadelphia 76ers were one of three contenders that fired their coach after an early playoff exit, ending Doc Rivers’ tenure after three seasons and no trips to the Eastern Conference Finals.
That is the expectation for Philly’s next head coach, who will have to figure out how to maximize the team built around 2023 NBA MVP Joel Embiid and, maybe, James Harden, depending on whether he leaves for a reunion with Houston this summer. It’s an interesting job in that there’s obvious upside given the talent on the roster, but expectations to reach a place this team has not proven it can get to and some real questions about how the roster will take shape for next year.
The man taking on that challenge will be a longtime divisional rival, former Toronto Raptors head coach (and before that, assistant) Nick Nurse, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
ESPN Sources: Nick Nurse has reached an agreement to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Nurse — who won an NBA championship and a coach of year award with Toronto — now gets to coach the 2023 MVP Joel Embiid. pic.twitter.com/SrsXhzx7Y3
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) May 29, 2023
Nurse was a candidate for most of the open positions on the market this summer, reportedly bowing out of the Milwaukee search before they hired his lead assistant, Adrian Griffin. Now he goes to Philadelphia, where his new star knows, at the very least, he’ll publicly do what it takes to try and get him foul calls.
There are a ton of interesting subplots to follow in Philly, including how Embiid takes to his new coach, but the Sixers can now at least get into the real work of the offseason knowing who will be guiding the team, making the move from Doc to Nurse.