The pool of prospective coaches from which the 76ers look to hire their new coach was reduced again on Sunday when the Sacramento Kings selected former Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone.

The 41-year-old Malone, who replaced Keith Smart, spent the last two seasons as the top assistant to Mark Jackson. Malone is the third coach to be hired recently who was at one time or another believed to be high on the Sixers' list.

Of course, that list was linked with Tony DiLeo, who was replaced as president of basketball operations on May 10 by new general manager Sam Hinkie.

Since Hinkie, a former executive with Houston, came on board, the Sixers have asked for permission to speak with Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, and they have been linked to Chris Finch, also a Houston assistant.

Since Doug Collins resigned, the other coaches the Sixers may have considered but who signed with other teams are Mike Brown (Cleveland Cavaliers), Mike Budenholzer (Atlanta Hawks) and Jeff Hornacek (Phoenix Suns).

The Sixers have also expressed interest in Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw. Shaw is also believed to be a candidate in some of the other vacancies around the league, such as those with the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers. But the Pacers have not permitted Shaw to interview with teams until Indiana's season is over.

Larry Drew, formerly the coach in Atlanta, expressed interested in working for the Sixers. However, the Sixers never interviewed Drew, and he was hired last week to coach the Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee also interviewed Sixers assistant coach Michael Curry. Curry is still under contract to the Sixers and is expected to begin conducting workouts with prospective draft picks this week.