The Philadelphia 76ers have made a change to the organization following an early exit from the playoffs. The team parted ways with head coach Brett Brown after a four-game sweep by the Boston Celtics. His tenure with the 76ers ends after seven seasons and a regular-season record of 221-344.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news on Monday after the 76ers championship hopes came to an end. He also noted that the team would begin exploring changes to the front-office structure. General manager Elton Brand confirmed the firing with a statement about Brown's contributions to the team. He also met with players on Sunday night in Orlando and conducted exit interviews.
"I have a tremendous level of respect for Brett both personally and professionally and appreciate all he's done for the 76ers organization and the City of Philadelphia," Brand said in a statement. "He did many positive things during his time here, developing young talent and helping position our team for three straight postseason appearances. Unfortunately, we fell well short of our goals this year, and I believe it is best to go in a new direction. This will be an important offseason for us as we look to get back on track towards our goal of competing for an NBA championship."
The 76ers missed the playoffs during Brown's first four seasons as head coach. The organization then made three consecutive trips but failed to reach the NBA Finals. The first two seasons ended during the Eastern Conference Semifinals while the third ended in the first round. According to ESPN, the organization still owes Brown "several million dollars" on the remainder of his contract.
With the change official, the 76ers will now look for a future coach that can create an environment for stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to shine together. One option exists in Los Angeles Clippers' assistant Ty Lue. ESPN also reports that the interest is mutual between the coach and the 76ers.
Lue previously served as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and led the team to a championship in 2016. One reported reason for him becoming the favorite is that he has previously found success coaching high-profile stars, such as LeBron James. Lue also has championship experience.
Another potential option for the 76ers exists in the college ranks. Jay Wright is currently the head coach of Villanova and has led the team to two National Championship titles. Sources have told ESPN that the NBA team will "gauge the interest" of Wright.