76ers Rumors: Ex-Kings HC Dave Joerger to Join Doc Rivers' Staff as Assistant

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2020

Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac answers questions concerning the decision to fire coach Dave Joerger, Thursday, April 11, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. Divac said he had been contemplating the decision to change coaches for a while and ultimately made it after the NBA basketball team stumbled to the finish with a 9-16 record after the All-Star break. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers has reportedly hired former Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings head coach Dave Joerger for his coaching staff, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Woj added that Joerger had interviewed for the Indiana Pacers' vacant head coaching position this offseason. 

Joerger, 46, started his NBA coaching career as an assistant with the Grizzlies in 2007-08 before becoming the head coach in the 2013-14 campaign. He lasted three seasons with Memphis, going 147-99 and leading the Grizzlies to three postseason berths. 

He then took over as Sacramento's head coach in 2016-17, again lasting three seasons and going 98-148 with the rebuilding Kings. Those teams went without a playoffs appearance, and Luke Walton replaced him last offseason. 

His long run with the "Grit and Grind" Grizzlies, built around two big men in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph and point guard Mike Conley, should give Joerger an interesting perspective on how to best utilize the big man-heavy Sixers. 

Former Sixers head coach Brett Brown never had much success with lineups that included both Joel Embiid and Al Horford, and the best bet for Philly's roster construction would still likely be moving Horford in a trade and getting as many shooters around Embiid and Ben Simmons as possible. 

But if that proves impossible—the 34-year-old Horford is due $81 million over the next three seasons, a shocking figure for a player on the decline—Rivers and his staff will have to find a way to get the most out of the team's stockpile of big men in a time when the league has trended smaller. That made Joerger a smart addition.

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