Doc Rivers emerges as serious candidate for Philadelphia 76ers coaching job, sources say

After productive meetings with Philadelphia 76ers ownership and management on Wednesday, Doc Rivers has emerged as a serious candidate to become the franchise's next coach, sources tell ESPN.

Rivers' candidacy has gained momentum, although no offer has been extended to him, sources said.

Rivers was a late entry into a process that had become increasingly focused on former Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni, who still remains in consideration with the Sixers, sources tell ESPN.

Once the LA Clippers dismissed Rivers on Monday, the dynamic of the Sixers coaching search changed. Rivers has been intrigued enough with the roster, marketplace and organization to fly from the West Coast to sit down with Philadelphia's hierarchy -- owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, and general manager Elton Brand.

Rivers, 58, had two years left on his Clippers contract, sources said, so he remains owed a significant sum of money, although typically there are offset agreements on the payout put into place should a coach be hired in a new job.

The Sixers also interviewed Clippers assistant Ty Lue this week, sources said, but Lue is emerging as a strong candidate to replace Rivers with the Clippers. The Clippers are planning to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.

The New Orleans Pelicans are planning to interview Lue in the near future too, sources said. Lue and Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin have strong ties, most notably working together to win an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.