The stones seem to be getting turned. New candidates for the 76ers' coaching position are arising, and getting interviewed.

Yesterday in Dallas, president and general manager Ed Stefanski, along with assistant general manager Tony DiLeo and team consultant Gene Shue, met with Sam Mitchell and Bill Laimbeer.

"Sam has been a successful head coach in the league, having been named coach of the year in 2007, and we were very interested in speaking with him," Stefanski said. "It was good to sit down with him to exchange ideas about our team and this opportunity."

About Laimbeer, Stefanski said: "We want to speak to as many qualified candidates as possible and certainly Bill Laimbeer's credentials as a player and success as a coach - including three championships in six seasons in the WNBA - speaks for itself. We want to thank Bill for meeting with us."

Stefanski, DiLeo and Shue have also met with former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson and former Sixers player and NBA head coach Doug Collins.

Mitchell was named the league's coach of the year after the 2006-07 season in which he led the Toronto Raptors to 47-35 record, 20 more wins than the season before. In his four-plus season in Toronto, the 13-year NBA veteran posted a 156-189 record. The 46-year-old Mitchell was a third-round draft choice of the Houston Rockets in 1985 but didn't play in the NBA until 1989. He spent 10 of his 13 season in the league with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Laimbeer, best known as one of the leaders of the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boy" teams during the late 1980s and early 1990s, which won back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990, also has an impressive coaching resume. Most recently, he has been an assistant to Kurt Rambis with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He won two WNBA titles as the head man for the Detroit Shock.

Today, Stefanski and his group will meet with Phoenix Suns assistant Dan Majerle and Portland TrailBlazers assistant Monty Williams.

And the beat goes on.

On May 18, in Secaucus, N.J., the Sixers will anxiously watch the pingpong balls to find out where they will be selecting in the June 24 draft. That could go a long way as to where the future of the program might be headed. Of course, having a coach in place will also do that.