Sixers hire Brown; Larranaga in focus

The Philadelphia 76ers have (finally) filled their coaching vacancy:

San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown has agreed to become the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, sources tell ESPN. Brown will sign a four-year contract to coach the Sixers, according to SI.com, which reported the agreement earlier.

New general manager Sam Hinkie took quite a while looking for a replacement before choosing Brown, who was part of three NBA title teams with San Antonio. The 52-year-old Brown was an assistant under Gregg Popovich since 2002. He also coached the Australian men's national team from 2009-12, and played a key role in helping Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker develop into All-Stars with the Spurs.

Brown is the franchise's 24th coach and eighth since Larry Brown resigned in 2003.

Why does this matter to Boston (other than the fact that Philly is a rebuilding division rival)? It increases the likelihood that Boston assistant Jay Larranaga will be back next season.

The 38-year-old Larranaga, a former D-League head coach, was one of a handful of finalists for the 76ers job. He joined Doc Rivers' staff last season and was the only Boston coach still under contract after Rivers departed for Los Angeles earlier this summer. Larranaga was tasked with coaching the summer squad. He was considered a candidate for Boston's vacancy before the team landed former Butler helmsman Brad Stevens on a six-year contract.

In the aftermath of Stevens' hiring, Larranaga noted on his decision to return to Boston, "I had one year left on my contract, so it's not really much of a decision. I'm under contract, and I respect that contract." Asked if it might be awkward working for someone who got a job he desired, Larranaga added, "I think you always try to focus on the things that you can control, right? So I can control the attitude and my work ethic. I'm going to try and do my best job to do that."

While the Celtics haven't formally announced Stevens' staff yet, it's expected to include Larranaga and Jamie Young (two holdovers from the last regime) as well as Ron Adams, a longtime NBA assistant who last worked with Tom Thibodeau in Chicago, and Micah Shrewsberry, one of Stevens' former assistants at Butler.

Ronald Nored (player development) and Drew Cannon (stats), two other familiar faces from Stevens' time at Butler, will also have roles in Boston.