Sixers assistant coach Brian James not officially leaving just yet

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(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Although there is a possibility that 76ers assistant Brian James will end up on the bench with Chris Collins at Northwestern University next season, nothing has been finalized, says James’ attorney John Langel, who is also the attorney for Doug Collins. 

"Brian James is still under contract with the Sixers and, like Doug, has one year remaining on his contract," said Langel on Sunday morning.

Of course, should Collins leave after this season, which has been widely speculated, he and his staff will be looking for other jobs and James very well could wind up at Northwestern. 

A story last week in the Inquirer cited sources saying that Sixers’ management wouldn’t stop Collins if he were to want to leave after a season which was torn apart due to the knee injuries to Andrew Bynum that force him to miss the entire season. Collins’ original 3-year contract was extended one year before this season. Langel has said that there has been no extension beyond that because he hasn’t asked for one. Probably another reason is because Collins doesn’t want to look at being the head coach beyond his current contract, probably not even fulfilling the remaining season. 

This offseason appears as it will be another rebuilding process for the organization as it will have to decide whether they want to try and bring back Bynum or rebuild the roster via trade and free agency, though they won’t have much money under the salary cap with which to spend. Collins will be 62 next season and after such a trying 82 games this year and with another rebuild staring him in the face, another year doesn’t seem to be a good fit for him.

Collins would make a reported $4.5 million next season. If he should be fired, he would get that money and James would get what he is owed and be free to pursue other options. If Collins resigns, he wouldn’t get the salary. It’s doubtful he will walk away without getting some money from the organization. If the two sides can come to some sort of financial settlement, Collins will probably walk shortly after.

The season ends on Wednesday in Indianapolis. Thursday is exit day and Collins, who won’t talk about his future coaching status now, is expected to touch on the subject then. Also expected to speak is owner Josh Harris.

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