Source: Sixers begin talks with Collins

TNT announcer Doug Collins is in negotiations with the Sixers to become the team's next head coach, according to a source. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

The 76ers have started negotiations today with Doug Collins in hopes of making him the team’s next head coach, a league source told the Daily News.

Collins hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2003 and since has been an NBA analyst for TNT. He is currently working the Western Conference finals between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers for the network.

During his eight seasons as coach with the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards, the 58-year-old Collins compiled a 332-287 record. A four-time All-Star as a player, Collins was selected with the first overall pick by the Sixers in 1973 and played all eight of his injury-plagued NBA career in Philadelphia.

On Tuesday at the NBA Draft Lottery in Secaucus, N.J., president and general manager Ed Stefanski said that there could be a second round of interviews among the top three candidates – Collins, Avery Johnson and Sam Mitchell. “If there’s a second round (of interviews), it will be quicker, it will be in a timely fashion,” Stefanski said.

He then said: “There are two options: Bring some people back for a second interview or just go towards the candidate we feel most comfortable with.”

It appears they have chosen the latter. Stefanski met with chairman Ed Snider and chief operating officer Peter Luukko today and the decision was made to start the negotiations with Collins.

Stefanski will spend tomorrow and Friday in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine.