76ers part ways with coach Doc Rivers

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Doc Rivers have parted ways with the Philadelphia 76ers after three season with the team.

The Philadelphia 76ers have sacked coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday, the team announced.

The Sixers were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals for a third straight season, losing 112-88 in Game 7 to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

The Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball operations acknowledged the effort of the ex coach but insists the club was to further their goals in competing in the Championship.

“Doc is one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, a future Hall of Famer, and someone I respect immensely,” 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said in a statement.

“We’re grateful for all he did in his three seasons here and thank him for the important impact he made on our franchise. After having the chance to reflect upon our season, we decided that certain changes are necessary to further our goals of competing for a championship.”

Philadelphia heads into the offseason not only conducting a search to replace Rivers, but also needing to navigate James Harden‘s impending free agency.

After Sunday’s Game 7 loss in Boston, Harden was asked about the state of his relationship with Rivers, and whether he believed the coach should return for a fourth season.

In response, Harden simply said, “Our relationship is OK.”

Harden has a player option for next season worth $35.6 million, after taking a pay cut last summer to help facilitate Philadelphia signing former Rockets teammates P.J. Tucker and Danuel House.

If Harden opts out of his deal, he’s eligible to sign a four-year, $202 million deal with another team, or a four-year, $210 deal to remain in Philadelphia, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The 76ers are unable to sign Harden for a fifth season, despite having his Bird rights, because of the over-38 rule in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

Should Harden leave in free agency, Philadelphia still won’t have cap space to replace him. Instead, the 76ers will have the full midlevel exception, worth a little over $12 million, to try to supplement its roster.

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