WASHINGTON -- Doug Collins is four games away from completing his third NBA season as head coach of the 76ers. Whether he returns for a fourth season has been a hot topic of discussion as the 2012-13 campaign winds down.
A story published in the Inquirer, citing league sources, claimed that the team “privately hopes that [Collins] decides not to return for the 2013-14 season.”
However, a source told CSNPhilly.com on Thursday that if Collins does not return to coach the Sixers next season, it won’t be because the Sixers want him out. The source said that the Sixers are completely supportive of Collins as he heads into the last season of his contract as the team's head coach (see story).
Collins declined to discuss the matter prior to Friday night’s game against the Wizards.
“I am going to talk about the NBA, about Washington, so let’s move forward to the basketball game,” Collins said. “We have four more games to play. I have told you all along that I am not the topic of conversation. We are going to focus on the games. We are going to play those.
“We will sit down at the end of the season like I have always done. I have a wonderful relationship with [Sixers majority owner] Josh Harris and we will discuss what we need to do next year.”
If Collins does not want to return for the final year of his contract, Harris would not have to pay the 61-year-old the reportedly $4.5 million he stands to earn.
There is the possibility that the two sides agree to a settlement.
The Sixers’ season comes to a close on Wednesday in Indiana. Harris will be available the following day to discuss the team, the coach and what the future holds for the franchise.