Doug Collins

According to multiple league sources, the 76ers organization privately hopes that coach Doug Collins decides not to return for the 2013-14 season and, regardless of his decision, it does not intend to extend his contract - which has one year remaining.

It will be an interesting game of cat-and-mouse when this season ends. Collins is unlikely to quit and leave $4.5 million on the table, but he is just as unlikely to agree to coach the lame-duck year of his contract.

“I’m entirely focused on trying to win the games we have left,” Collins said Wednesday night before the Sixers played Atlanta at the Wells Fargo Center. “I’m not thinking at all about next season. I haven’t gone there.”

Previously, Collins has said he simply doesn’t know yet what he will do. This has been an excruciatingly difficult season for the entire organization, and particularly for Collins, who pours so much passion and energy into coaching that he is always exhausted at the end of a season. This time around, dealing with the crushing disappointment of not having the Andrew Bynum deal work out, and then dealing with a team that is incapable of winning without him, the toll has been even greater.

“I think he’s gone at the end of the year. He’ll be moving on,” said one NBA source with intimate knowledge of the situation. “He’ll decide to leave, and they won’t be upset about it. They would like to see it work out that he decides to move on.”

– Reported by Bob Ford of theĀ Philadelphia Inquirer