The 76ers have told Los Angeles Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis that he no longer is under consideration for their head coaching job, an NBA source confirmed last night.
Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski talked to Rambis in Los Angeles early last week, adding his name to a list of interviewed candidates that included Eddie Jordan, Dwane Casey, Tom Thibodeau, Chris Ford and Jay Wright.
Wright, head coach at Villanova, quickly removed his name from consideration. With Rambis also off the list, that leaves four known candidates: Jordan, the former Washington Wizards coach; Casey, a Dallas Mavericks assistant; Thibodeau, a Boston Celtics assistant; and Ford, who coached the Celtics and Sixers and who is now a scout for the latter.
Thibodeau is scheduled to interview this week with the Sacramento Kings, who already have interviewed Jordan.
There was speculation that the Sixers may have reached out to current ESPN broadcaster and former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy. He did not immediately return a request for comment.
Another question mark for the Sixers is the point-guard position. Andre Miller, the guy now holding that spot, is an unrestricted free agent.
If he re-signs with the Sixers, they will retain one of the NBA's top point guards. If he signs with another team, the hole at the top of the lineup will look like a crater.
Only minutes after this season's finale, the 26-point loss to Orlando, Miller said he would wait to see whom the Sixers choose with the 17th pick, their only selection in the NBA draft on June 25.
A day after that loss, Miller's agent, Andy Miller, said his client's choice was to remain a Sixer, although that loyalty will be tested when negotiations begin July 1.
The NBA draft combine is scheduled for tomorrow and Friday in Chicago. Fifty-two players have been invited.
Stefanski already has said the team would look to draft a guard. The Sixers can offer Miller more money than any other team, but appear poised to use their pick on a potential replacement.
There are a number of highly regarded point guards in this year's draft - Ricky Rubio, Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry and Brandon Jennings - but they should be gone by the Sixers' selection, unless the team makes a trade to move up.
Assuming they remain at No. 17, here are three possibilities:
Jonny Flynn, Syracuse: Flynn seems destined to go at the 10th or 11th spot, but a few unexpected choices beforehand could make him available at 17.
Ty Lawson, North Carolina: A month ago, this speedy guard seemed sure to be drafted higher. In some assessments, he is the sixth-ranked point guard in the draft.
Jrue Holiday, UCLA: Holiday, a freshman, has yet to hire an agent, which means he can return to school. If he stays in the draft, the 18-year-old could be a high-risk, high-reward selection for the Sixers.
Mexico-bound. The Sixers said they will play an Oct. 18 preseason game against the Phoenix Suns in Monterrey, Mexico. The game, to be played at Arena Monterrey, will be the NBA's 18th game in Mexico, the most played in any country other than the United States and Canada. Tickets go on sale June 1 through www.arenamonterrey.com.