PHILADELPHIA – So much for the Philadelphia 76ers having a new coach.
General Manager Sam Hinkie denied a New York Daily News report that the Sixers had decided to hire San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Brett Brown, a South Portland native.
“Nothing of that substance happened I could tell you,” Hinkie said around 1:15 a.m. Friday following Thursday night’s NBA draft. “We had a lot of things going on. That was not part of what happened in the last several hours.”
Meanwhile, The Boston Globe reported Friday that Brown is “extremely” interested in coaching the Celtics, according to league sources.
Hinkie said he has not formally interviewed anyone for the coaching job vacated April 18 by Doug Collins.
NBA assistant coaches David Fizdale (Miami Heat), Michael Curry (Sixers), Melvin Hunt (Denver Nuggets), and Rockets assistants Chris Finch and Kelvin Sampson have also been mentioned as potential candidates for the Sixers job.
Curry, who was the associate head coach under Collins, will run the Sixers’ Orlando Summer League team from July 7-12.
Brown joined the Spurs in July of 2002 as an assistant coach/director of player development. He moved to the bench as an assistant coach before the start of the 2006-07 season.
The Spurs lost in seven games to the Miami Heat in this season’s NBA finals. But San Antonio has won three league titles during Brown’s tenure with the team.
Prior to the Spurs he coached 14 seasons, nine as a head coach, in the Australia National Basketball League. Brown led the Aussies to a seventh-place finish in the 2012 Olympic.
He played college basketball for Rick Pitino at Boston University from 1980-83 and was the team’s most valuable player in 1981.
BOBCATS: Charlotte extended a qualifying offer to guard Gerald Henderson, making him a restricted free agent, but not to center Byron Mullens, who becomes a free agent.
The qualifying offer of $4.2 million to Henderson will allow the Bobcats to match any offer he receives from another team.
HEAT: Ray Allen exercised his $3.2 million player option barely a week after Miami finished off San Antonio to win the NBA finals in seven games.
Allen made one of the biggest shots in Heat history, a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of the finals to tie the game and force an overtime, where Miami ultimately prevailed.
NETS: Lawrence Frank, a former coach of the team, will return as an assistant under the new coach, Jason Kidd.
The Nets also agreed to terms with assistants Roy Rogers, Eric Hughes and holdover Doug Overton to fill out the staff of their rookie coach.
CAVALIERS: Bernie Bickerstaff, a former NBA coach, will be an assistant on Mike Brown’s new staff with Cleveland.
Bickerstaff previously worked as a head coach with Seattle, Denver, Washington and Charlotte. He took over as the Los Angeles Lakers’ interim coach last season after Brown was fired after five games. Bickerstaff also worked in the front office for Denver and Charlotte.
LAKERS: The team took the unusual step earlier this week of putting up billboards around the Los Angeles area with a photo of free-agent center Dwight Howard and the word “Stay.”
Said General Manager Mitch Kupchak: “The message is simple: we care about you and we want you to stay.”