SIXERS

Source: Rivers' job title won't have one big responsibility

SIXERS

The Sixers' hire of Doc Rivers on Thursday signaled a new direction for the organization, but it sounds like Rivers will be just a head coach - for now.

Rivers' role is explicitly coaching right now, a source told NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark on Friday, and he will not have personnel responsibilities like he did with the Clippers:

PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck was first to report on Thursday night.

It's an important distinction.

During his time as head coach in Los Angeles, Rivers was simultaneously coach and president of basketball operations, until he was removed from that role in 2017. Rivers still had sway in personnel decisions after the team hired Lawrence Frank in 2017. Notably, Rivers lost the title after his teams won fewer games, year over year, through his first four seasons.

This doesn't mean Rivers will be coaching a team he has no control over, roster construction-wise. All coaches are asked by the front office for input on free agents, draft picks, and the like. 

But it seems like, league-wide, Rivers' stock as a personnel evaluator is down, and his primary value is seen as a head coach.

In a city where the most recent head coach-personnel responsibility merger didn't exactly go too well, this probably sits just fine with Sixers fans, even if their confidence in the current front office is shaky at best.

Interestingly, some fans viewed Rivers' hire with the Sixers as a sign that a potential Chris Paul trade could be off the table because of an uneven relationship after Paul was traded away from Los Angeles in 2017. But not having personnel responsibilities makes it, at least at first glance, less likely he would get in the way of such a move. 

 

If Sixers general manager Elton Brand deems Paul a must-have piece for next season and decides to go after him, it'll simply be up to Rivers to make things work - on the court, anyway.