There is “strong mutual interest” between the Sixers and Tyronn Lue, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported Wednesday.
Mannix’s reporting is consistent with earlier reports that Lue was at the center of the Sixers’ head coaching search. The new element is that Villanova head coach Jay Wright announced Wednesday he’s not a candidate for the Sixers job, which, according to Mannix, means the Sixers will “aggressively pursue Lue.”
A complicating factor could be the other teams reportedly in pursuit of Lue. The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported on Aug. 24 that the Nets and Pelicans had interest in Lue, as well. Pompey reported Lue is seeking a salary of $7 million per season.
Lue, who’s currently serving as the Clippers’ lead assistant, won an NBA title in his first season as a head coach and earned three straight Eastern Conference titles with LeBron James and the Cavs. Though his success in the playoffs is impressive, Lue was fired following an 0-6 start to the 2018-19 season after James had left for the Lakers. He’s never coached a roster like the Sixers’, which is currently very large and very post-oriented. We examined the case for and against him here.
Sixers general manager Elton Brand said on Aug. 25 that he’s the one in charge of the team’s head coaching search.
“To be clear and frank, we feel that the collaboration days didn’t work too well, so I will be leading the search,” he said in a conference call with reporters. “I will make the recommendation to (managing partner Josh Harris) and (co-managing partner David Blitzer), of course, but we’re getting better.”
Brand noted the Sixers would thoroughly evaluate their front office after the team finished 43-30, was swept by the Celtics and dismissed Brett Brown.