Following his team’s 4-0 dismantling at the hands of the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown is officially on the hot seat. According to a report on Sunday, the 59-year-old may already be facing an uphill battle in his bid to return for an eighth year at the helm in the City of Brotherly Love.
ESPN basketball insider Adrian Wojnarowski took to Twitter shortly after the Celtics beat the 76ers 110-106 to complete their first-round sweep of the team and confirmed an existing assumption of fans and prognosticators, stating that “changes are coming for the Sixers.” He continued by appraising Brown’s status with the organization, reporting that the coach was “without internal momentum to return” to the sidelines next season.
You can see the insider’s tweet here.
Wojnarowski went on to say that a final determination on Brown’s future with Philadelphia could come down quickly. Brown has two more years remaining on his deal with Philly; he and the franchise had agreed to an extension running through the 2021-22 season in 2018.
The 76ers compiled a 43-30 record this season, which was good for a No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference heading into postseason play. However, they were without the services of star point guard Ben Simmons during their first-round series after the former No. 1 overall pick suffered a knee injury during the seeding slate in the NBA’s Orlando, Florida bubble campus.
Although Brown’s squad disappointed in the match-up, Simmons’ absence may have been the biggest determining factor in the lopsided outcome against Boston. The Aussie floor general led his squad in win shares during the 2019-20 campaign and likely would have bolstered its ability to cope with the Celtics’ multi-pronged attack.
Moreover, some of Philadelphia’s failings could be credited to management for some questionable personnel dealings. The team acquired All-Star guard Jimmy Butler in 2018, only to deal him away in a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat when it became clear he intended to leave the organization. It also devoted huge chunks of their cap space to Tobias Harris and Al Horford, doling out big-money contracts to both players, only to see them struggle to mesh with the 76ers’ existing core.
In any case, it’s difficult to paint Brown’s tenure to date as a failure, as he led the Sixers to back-to-back 50-win seasons in 2018 and ’19, and also won multiple playoff series.
As relayed by noted NBA scribe Ben Golliver on Twitter, All-Star center Joel Embiid took a diplomatic approach in addressing Brown’s future after Sunday’s Game 4 loss.
“I’m not the GM. I don’t make the decisions. All I know is we have a great organization, a bunch of great people,” Embiid said in a video tweet seen here.
Some believe that Embiid’s own future with the franchise could be questionable as well. As shared by The Inquisitr, a ClutchPoints writer recently floated the idea that the Golden State Warriors could acquire him using their No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. However, that hypothetical trade would likely require other significant assets from the Warriors’ side.