The person spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been made public. The person said the official announcement was likely to come Friday. Terms were not immediately available.
Team president Ed Stefanski interviewed Collins on May 1, and he emerged as the leading candidate to replace the fired Eddie Jordan. The pool of candidates included former Dallas coach Avery Johnson and Toronto coach Sam Mitchell.
Collins is 332-287 in coaching stints with Chicago, Detroit and Washington. The 76ers made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1973 draft, and he played eight seasons with the team.
The 58-year-old will need time to build a winner in Philadelphia that other coaches haven't been afforded. Since Larry Brown left in 2003, four others have failed to coach more than 82 games for the organization.
Jordan, Stefanski's first major coaching hire, flopped in his lone season. After first-round exits in the playoffs two straight seasons, the Sixers finished 27-55 and in the draft lottery.
This could turn out as the most pivotal offseason for the Sixers since they selected Allen Iverson with the No. 1 overall pick in 1996. The Sixers moved up from the sixth spot to grab the No. 2 pick in Tuesday's lottery.
Now they know who will coach whomever they draft.
Collins guided a young Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls from 1986-89, and the Detroit Pistons from 1995-98. He coached Jordan again with the Washington Wizards from 2001-03.
His two seasons with the Wizards were his only two full seasons in which he did not lead his team to the playoffs. He was fired shortly after Jordan was denied a return to the front office.
Stefanski and other members of Sixers management also interviewed Phoenix assistant coach Dan Majerle, Houston assistant Elston Turner, Portland assistant Monty Williams and former Detroit Pistons star Bill Laimbeer.
Collins has been with TNT since leaving the Wizards.
He was a four-time All-Star with the Sixers, and he averaged 17.9 points in a career marred by injuries. A knee injury forced him to retire in 1981, two years before the 76ers beat the Lakers for the 1983 NBA title.
Collins received the Curt Gowdy Media Award at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September for his work as a broadcaster.
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