With the Pacers being eliminated by the Miami Heat last night, Brian Shaw, one of the Sixers potential coaching candidates officially became available to interview. The problem? The Sixers don’t appear to be the only team interested in Brian Shaw’s services as a head coach. Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN are reporting that the Brooklyn Nets see Shaw as “a serious target” for their head coaching position. And unfortunately for the Sixers the Nets are a way more attractive team to coach. The Nets have a star in Deron Williams, and All-Star in Brook Lopez. They also have Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, MarSon Brooks, and Kris Humphries. In other words, they have a way more talented roster than the Sixers. The Sixers pretty much have Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner to compare. Holiday is an all-star but nationally I don’t think too many people would take Holiday over Deron Williams or Brook Lopez to build a team with. And Evan Turner was the number two pick, but I wouldn’t take Turner over Williams, Lopez, Johnson, Wallace, or Brooks. Not to mention that for whatever reason Brooklyn is considered a more attractive city to be in than Philly. That one doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s how it is.
So should the Sixers not even interview Shaw? No they should make a quick, aggressive pitch to Shaw and see what happens. But if the Nets are just as aggressive as the Sixers, the chances that Shaw chooses the Sixers is very small. So if the quick, aggressive pitch doesn’t seem to have Shaw seriously considering coming to Philly almost immediately, I think the Sixers would be best served exiting the Brian Shaw sweepstakes and looking at other candidates. And that is only taking into account that the Nets reportedly have interest in Shaw, without knowing if other teams like the Grizzles could show interest.
The bottom line is that the Sixers can go after candidates like Shaw and Grizzles coach Lionel Hollins, but getting a big name to come to this team isn’t likely. The Sixers have Jrue Holiday and really nothing attractive past that. Having the number 11 pick in the NBA draft really doesn’t make anyone want to come coach your team. Sure they have cap space if they let Andrew Bynum work, but they won’t find a superstar willing to sign on to play with the current roster. So the next hand coach is likely going to have to be one of two things. Either a transition guy that helps to build up a young team until giving way for a better coach once Sam Hinkie is able to rebuild this roster, or a young coach who the Sixers take a risk on and hope ends up being a better coach than most teams anticipate.
My guess is that the Sixers do their do diligence and will higher a coach that they feel is right later rather than sooner. The Sixers aren’t likely to get a big name head coach and I’m sorry to be the one to have to break that news to fans who felt like the Sixers were likely to bring in a guy like Brian Shaw. But this team is a three to five year rebuilding process, not something that a new coach can come in and turn into a team that can make a run in the playoffs immediately.