Jay Wright was never going to coach the Philadelphia 76ers

(Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
(Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

It made no sense for Jay Wright to leave Villanova for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Jay Wright is one of the most established coaches in the entirety of college basketball. He has been the head coach of the Villanova Wildcats since all the way back in 2001 and has won two national titles with them in the last five years.

To pry someone with a resume that deep away from a school that loves them like Villanova loves Wright would take the perfect job. Let’s make one thing clear: the Philadelphia 76ers are not that job. They are currently a dysfunctional mess with no clear solution in sight right now. To that end, Wright put out this press release that signified his non-interest in the Sixers’ vacancy.

Even after firing Brett Brown, an out of position jigsaw puzzle remains, and the front office is not the most open-minded group of people. The team has for a long time been assembled as a group that does not create their own shot effectively and is built around a ball-dominant center like Joel Embiid and has a primary facilitator in Ben Simmons. Normally, a team’s facilitator would also be able to create his own shot, but Simmons has thus far been extremely unique in that he is reluctant to shoot anything beyond the two-foot range.

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On top of this, Wright has continually built his Villanova teams around sharpshooters in the mold of the modern-day NBA style, which the Sixers have not yet adopted in favor of their oversized bully ball approach. The positionless, small-ball basketball style Wright favors has quickly become a staple in the modern NBA game, with teams like the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics favoring it heavily and having great success with it.

Needless to say, it would take a huge adjustment for Philadelphia to take on Wright’s style, and given their moves in the past couple of offseasons, it does not seem like they are looking to transition to this style of play just yet.  The team is saddled with quite a few bad contracts that they will surely look to move for some fresh talent and hopefully will start to slide into that sharpshooter small-ball mentality.

It is worth noting that Embiid and Simmons need to have the scheme built around them, and given how we have seen the last two seasons end, such a change would be welcomed, especially if it doesn’t rely as heavily on Embiid in a ball-dominant role, instead allowing the 7-footer to settle down low and kick the ball out to a group of shooters when he’s surrounded.

In an ideal scheme, Simmons would be able to play point guard and maximize his abilities as a facilitator, while using his powerful frame to drive to the basket and kick the ball out to a shooter if needed as well, acting as both a screener and a pick-and-roll man. To fill out the remainder of the roster, the Sixers could retain Tobias Harris, who fits in as the third-best scoring option, and add a couple of three-point shooters who could provide much-needed scoring both off the bench and in the starting five.

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In the wake of this news, the Philadelphia 76ers will undoubtedly look to zero in on their top candidates, who right now are believed to be Tyronn Lue, formerly of the Cavaliers, Jason Kidd, who formerly coached the Bucks, and Ime Udoka, who would be the internal candidate that spent last year as the assistant coach of the Sixers.