ESPN Sources: Nick Nurse has reached an agreement to become the next coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Nurse — who won an NBA championship and a coach of year award with Toronto — now gets to coach the 2023 MVP Joel Embiid.
The move comes two weeks after the 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. Philadelphia subsequently fired Doc Rivers after failing to get past the Eastern Conference Semifinals in each of the past three seasons.
Nurse comes into Philadelphia with some success on his resume. He began coaching the Raptors in the 2018-19 season after Dwane Casey was fired. In his first season at the helm, the Raptors won the NBA Championship, giving Nurse instant gratification.
However, Toronto has slowly regressed each year since its title run and failed to get past the Play-In Tournament this season.
Now, Nurse is tasked with a very similar situation that he walked in when he began his Toronto tenure. He has to take a talented team and get it over the hump. He’ll have Joel Embiid as the anchor of the ship, but James Harden may or may not be back depending on what he decides to do in free agency.
Harden’s decision whether to stay or go should help shape Philadelphia’s roster, and with Nurse leading the way, the team has a direction to start with.