PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- Following the Sixers’ unceremonious exit from the playoffs on Sunday, the heat on head coach Brett Brown’s seat is at an all-time high. With a high-priced roster and general manager Elton Brand’s option picked up for the 2020-21 season, moving on from Brown appears to be the team’s most significant card to play. According to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, if Brown is fired, a local coach could be the one to replace him.
Charania reported in his column at The Athletic Monday that Brown’s ouster is “only a matter of when.” Then, a few paragraphs below, he mentions several candidates who could replace Brown, if and when the move is made. Among them is Villanova head coach Jay Wright.
“Keep an eye on the following potential coaching candidates, according to sources: 76ers assistant Ime Udoka, Clippers assistant Ty Lue, Villanova’s Jay Wright, and former Grizzlies and Kings coach Dave Joerger.”
It’s not the first time that Wright’s name has been mentioned in connection with the Sixers job. But, the 58-year-old has said previously that though he’d love to coach in the NBA, he’s happy at Villanova.
"I just love where I am. I'd like to coach in the NBA, I coached last summer w/ Popovich, I'm coaching the Olympics w/ Kerr … but I would have to leave my job. I'm happy at Villanova, I love it & don't want to mess w/ it."@VUCoachJWright on if he's temped to coach in the NBA pic.twitter.com/3qHi64Ysfl
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) March 11, 2020
Wright, a Bucks County native, is a two-time national champion at Villanova and winner of a pair of Naismith College Coach of the Year awards in 2006 and 2016. In his 19 seasons at Villanova, he has led the Wildcats to a 472-182 record. The recent history of college coaches making the leap to the NBA has not been good, evidenced by the less than one season tenure of former Michigan Wolverines and Cleveland Cavaliers coach John Beilein.
If the Sixers decide to move on from Brown, Wright’s name appears likely to be bandied about quite a bit as the team looks to find someone that can get the most out of its roster.