Brett Brown will most likely stay with the Philadelphia 76ers even with their bad record. If, that’s a big “if”, the Sixers chose to start over again without Brown, they can look to Maurice Cheeks. Cheeks was recently fired by the Detroit Pistons after they went 21-29 in his first season coaching them. He’ll be looking to coach again, and what better than to return to the city he helped win a championship with?
Though history would appear to repeat itself if Cheeks was rehired, things would be different this time around. First all, the Sixers have new ownership. The franchise is under ownership that puts the Sixers first, unlike Comcast-Spectacor. Expectations will also be low for Cheeks. This season’s team isn’t dealing with the aftermath of the loss of a star like Allen Iverson. It has no identity and is be filled with primarily young players, a group Cheeks can mold into a contender.
The Sixers are last in defense −110.5 points allowed per game−and will be in good financial standing. The Sixers won’t be stuck with any long-term bad contracts. Their only bad contract, Jason Richardson, has a player option after this season which he will most likely exercise for one more season.
Cheeks may have been in bad standing with all the teams he’s coached; however, Philadelphia would be a perfect place for his return. His last season with the Sixers in 2008-09 ended with a 9-14 record, but Sixers fans seemed to be upset as the team made some questionable personnel decisions such as the signing of Elton Brand and re-signing of Andre Iguodala.
One advantage Cheeks has over Brown is his head coaching experience in the league. This is Brown’s first season as an NBA head coach, so he’ll need time to adjust whereas Cheeks is seasoned. Cheeks would certainly help the backcourt, especially rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams is a front-runner for rookie of the year. He’d learn a lot from a former star point guard.
Cheeks has a 305-315 record, but he could be what the Sixers need to contend.