76ers Rumors: Brett Brown Firing More Likely Than Embiid or Simmons Trade

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly more likely to fire coach Brett Brown than trade either Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons if the team does not make a deep run into the playoffs.

“It depends on the playoffs,” an Eastern Conference executive told Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “[Losing in the] first round, Brett is gone for sure. Conference finals? He may get to stay. I think ownership/management is most likely to fire Brett and keep the core together than do anything significant with the roster.”

Brown has been the expected fall guy throughout the regular season. The Sixers overhauled their roster over the last two seasons to put talent around Simmons and Embiid. While the success of those moves is questionable—paying $280 million for Tobias Harris and Al Horford last summer looks like a miss—Brown is a holdover from previous management (twice removed) who is likelier to lose his job than general manager Elton Brand.

Brown has been the Sixers’ coach since 2013, leading them through the lean years of The Process before shepherding a playoff team the last two seasons. The Sixers will be making their third straight postseason appearance under Brown but are yet to get past the second round.

The 2019-20 Sixers were among the NBA‘s biggest disappointments. Picked by some as the favorite in the Eastern Conference, Philly will sit sixth in the conference when the NBA returns next month. Embiid and Horford have griped about their roles, Simmons missed time with a back injury, and the roster composition seems at odds with modern basketball.

There is only so much Brown can do with the mismatched roster, but he’s shown little in terms of the type of innovation that could save his job. 

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