NBA Rumors: Predicting Where Mike D'Antoni and the Top Coaches Will Land

Trevor Lowry@@TheTrevorLowryContributor IMay 4, 2012

NBA Rumors: Predicting Where Mike D'Antoni and the Top Coaches Will Land

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    There are more things to the NBA other than just the players, or that is at least the case in the coaches' minds. Mike D' Antoni and a few other coaches still need to find a home by the start of next season. Although there are just rumors about where they will land, rumors are better than nothing.

    Coaches impact a team like no other, for good or bad.

    This article is all about the rumors and gossip, people.

    So, read on to find out the predictions on where Mike D' Antoni and the top coaches will land. 

Mike D'Antoni

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    Mike D'Antoni may very well be the biggest name on the free agent market...when it comes to coaches, but where will he land next season?

    According to NBC Sports, it is not a specific team that D'Antoni will land, but a system.

    Some team should hire D’Antoni next season. But that comes with a caveat—you have to get players that fit the system. If you hire D’Antoni, you have to get him a point guard who can run the offense, bigs who are strong in the pick-and-roll (or pick-and-pop) and good shooters to space the floor. Don’t and he is not going to be a great fit, get him those things and you’ll win. But the GM and coach (and owner) need to be on board with building to a style, not just assembling pieces as was done by the Knicks.

    Well, if this is the case, than the Washington Wizards sound perfect for him. They, of course, have John Wall, who is an absolute stud at the point guard position, and they have an above average big man in Nene. 

    Not to mention, the Wizards will have a very good draft pick in the upcoming draft, which D'Antoni could pick up a great player to fit his system.

    However, if the Miami Heat don't win an NBA title this year, than their coach, Erik Spoelstra, could very well be fired, and replaced by D'Antoni.

    Prediction: Washington Wizards

Nate McMillan

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    Nate McMillan will find a home by the time next season starts. Where that home will be though is another question. 

    According to ESPN's Marc Stein, that home could very well be in Orlando.

    The fates of Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith won't be clarified until after Orlando does what it does in the playoffs. 

    The whispers, though, have already begun to spread on the coaching grapevine that Nate McMillan will emerge as a prime candidate to replace Van Gundy if this is it for SVG in Central Florida.

    With all of the Dwight Howard drama in Orlando, there is no way that Howard and Stan Van Gundy can coexist. They have gone on for way too long, and one of them has to go. It is as simple as that. If Gundy is that person, then expect McMillan to be the Magic's next coach.

    Prediction: Orlando Magic

Jerry Sloan

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    Jerry Sloan was the man for Utah, and he could certainly have some success coaching for another NBA team, but who will it be?

    Sports Illustrated may have the answer:

    While retired Lakers and Bulls coach Phil Jackson has frequently been named as a possible successor to D'Antoni, sources close to retired Utah coach Jerry Sloan say he would be interested in the position.

    Sloan retired abruptly in February 2011, and was pursued by a number of teams during the summer before resisting the recruiting efforts. In an interview with in early January, he said he was considering a return.

    If this is the case, the New York Knicks could be an elite team in the NBA. They are, of course, a playoff-caliber team, but they have yet to show that they can actually compete for an NBA title.

    Just imagine Sloan coaching Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

    It may sound quite lovely, but it is unlikely to happen. If it was up to Sloan, than I am sure he would be New York's next coach, but it is not. Expect Mike Woodson to coach for the Knicks for at least one more year because he has earned it. 

    Prediction: Stays Out of the NBA for at least another year

Phil Jackson

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    Didn't Phil Jackson just call it quits? Yeah, I thought so. Although there has been speculation of Jackson returning to the NBA to coach for the New York Knicks, don't count on it. If anyone returns it will be Jerry Sloan, and he will be the man for the Knicks job.

    However, the return of not only Sloan, but Jackson, as well, is very unlikely. 

    Take it away Carmelo Anthony.

    I'm a big supporter of what coach Woodson has done. His approach to the game, and what he gets out of all his players, even me. He holds everybody accountable and that's what we need.

    Although circumstances surely change, Woodson has bought himself another year for the New York Knicks. Sorry Jackson fans, but you will have to wait another year for your coach to return.

    Prediction: Jackson doesn't coach...yet

Flip Saunders

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    The Washington Wizards made the right call firing Flip Saunders considering how bad the Wizards are and all. Fingers are usually pointed at the coach, and this was definitely the case for Saunders.

    It seems that Saunders has already found a job though, for the time being that is:

    The Boston Celtics will have an additional guest with them for their playoff series against Atlanta—Flip Saunders. The former Washington Wizards coach, who also coached Kevin Garnett for a number of years in Minnesota, will be traveling with the team when they face the Atlanta Hawks in their first-round playoff series that will begin on Sunday in Atlanta

    If the guy is willing to do this for the Boston Celtics in the playoffs, you would think that the Celtics would be willing to hire him somewhere on their coaching staff. It would only make sense since Saunders is temporarily on Boston's bench and all.

    However, this is not the only rumor going around. Saunders is a Minnesota alumni and Minnesota has not been the best team in the world under Tubby Smith.

    In an interview with KFAN's Dan Barreiro, Saunders had this to say.

    One thing I’ve always said a lot is college coaches don’t always translate to the NBA. But yet guys have been college, gone to the NBA, that maybe fail in the NBA even their experience when they go back to college, they always say they’re much better coaches in college after they’ve been to the NBA.

    It sounds like to me that he wants to coach college ball, but that may just be me.

    Prediction: Saunders finds a place on Boston's coaching staff

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