The Philadelphia 76ers are looking for a lead assistant on head coach Brett Brown’s staff after the Houston Rockets recently hired former assistant Mike D’Antoni to take over as their head coach. While it once appeared as though P.J. Carlesimo could fill that role, that reportedly won't be the case.
Sources said Carlesimo will not join Philadelphia’s staff "despite strong mutual interest," Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported Sunday.
"The Sixers wanted Carlesimo to replace Mike D’Antoni as associate head coach; P.J. is close with both Brown and new Philly GM Bryan Colangelo," Stein noted. "But for family reasons, sources say, Carlesimo has decided he can't join the Sixers at this time and intends to stay in TV/radio with ESPN."
The news comes after David Aldridge of NBA.com passed along this update Friday:
Carlesimo would have been a valuable addition to Philadelphia’s staff based on his vast experience in the league. He was the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers for three seasons, the Golden State Warriors for three seasons, the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder for two seasons and the Brooklyn Nets for one season.
Carlesimo was also an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs and Nets.
|1994-95||Portland Trail Blazers||44-38|
|1995-96||Portland Trail Blazers||44-38|
|1996-97||Portland Trail Blazers||49-33|
|1997-98||Golden State Warriors||19-63|
|1998-99||Golden State Warriors||21-29|
|1999-2000||Golden State Warriors||6-21|
|2008-09||Oklahoma City Thunder||1-12|
He has a 239-315 record in 554 games as a head coach and has led players such as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Rasheed Wallace, Antawn Jamison, Muggsy Bogues and Latrell Sprewell. He was with the Thunder when Durant and Westbrook were new in the league in 2008-09 and could have utilized his experience coaching young playmakers with the rebuilding 76ers.
The 76ers have not made it to the postseason since the 2011-12 campaign and finished an abysmal 10-72 this season and 18-64 last season.
However, they have been accumulating young assets for years and have players such as 20-year-old Jahlil Okafor, 22-year-old Nerlens Noel and 22-year-old Joel Embiid under team control. They also have the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft and will likely choose between LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram.
Despite the young talent, Philadelphia is reportedly shopping Okafor and Noel. ESPN’s Chad Ford appeared on 97.3 ESPN Radio in New Jersey (via Kyle Neubeck of SB Nation’s Liberty Ballers) and pointed out the team isn’t likely to find a quality starter in the backcourt with the No. 24 and No. 26 picks in the upcoming draft, so it may look for a trade instead.
A trade for some impact guards to join Ingram or Simmons could signal that the 76ers are shifting into win-now mode in the coming seasons after building for the future for so long. Having an experienced voice like Carlesimo on the bench would help, but he is apparently staying in his role with the media.