Although it appears that Doc Rivers is on his way to joining the Philadelphia 76ers as their new coach following his lengthy stint with the Los Angeles Clippers, a new report suggests that Mike D’Antoni — another rumored candidate for the Sixers job — still might have some head coaching vacancies to choose from, including that of the Indiana Pacers.
As quoted on Thursday night by Bleacher Report, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shared the latest update on D’Antoni on SportsCenter, noting that the former Houston Rockets coach did seem interested in the Sixers’ vacancy. He hinted, however, that the Pacers appear to be interested in hiring D’Antoni as a replacement for Nate McMillan, who was fired after the team failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs for the fourth straight season under his watch.
“There are still openings out there—I think one that bears watching, perhaps, is Indiana. The Pacers are still in the early stages of a search. They’ve been talking to candidates. They haven’t narrowed the field down too far yet.”
According to Bleacher Report, D’Antoni similarly had difficulty guiding the Rockets to deep playoff runs during his time with the organization — his teams had not gone past the second round since 2018 when they made it to the Western Conference Finals. However, the outlet posited that the veteran coach will likely be able to “construct a more cohesive offense” than the one he had in Houston, which featured two ball-dominant players in James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
“That’s precisely why Indiana could make sense,” the publication continued. “With the core of Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo all in their prime, there’s enough versatility and playmaking for D’Antoni to keep looking for new ways to gain an offensive advantage.”
Rumors of D’Antoni possibly replacing McMillan in Indiana are nothing new. Last month, NBC Sports cited multiple sources who claimed that the 69-year-old was likely to be hired by the Pacers, even if it was far from being a “done deal” at that point. The outlet, however, pointed out that D’Antoni is known for his preference for a fast-paced style of play and that the organization doesn’t have too many players who fit his vision. As such, his potential arrival was described as something that should be part of a “larger overhaul.”
Aside from D’Antoni, there have been a few other names rumored for the Pacers’ coaching vacancy, including former NBA championship-winning point guard Chauncey Billups, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.