2013 NBA Coaching Carousel Tracker

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 3, 2013

2013 NBA Coaching Carousel Tracker

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    Death and taxes have ranked one-two in the certainty department for an awfully long time, but if there's a potential third entry, it's the inevitable NBA coaching carousel that happens annually. 

    Every spring, NBA teams get a chance to either enjoy their achievements or assess the damage. When it's the latter, the axe often falls on the head coach.

    We'll keep you caught up on every head coaching move between now and the end of the postseason right here. When somebody gets a pink slip, we'll tell you who's in line to replace them.

    Plenty of big names are still out there. So we'll keep tabs on who they're talking to and where they might land. Whether it's a hot assistant looking for a new gig or a veteran on the hunt for a final stop, we'll keep you up to date on every NBA head coaching move.

    Before you read on to explore the teams still in need of a head coach, as well as the top candidates to fill those positions, please note the following hires that have already occurred:

    Cleveland Cavaliers: Mike Brown was officially rehired on April 24, 2013.

    Atlanta Hawks: Mike Budenholzer was officially hired on May 28, 2013.

    Phoenix Suns: Jeff Hornacek was officially hired on May 28, 2013.

    Charlotte Bobcats: Steve Clifford was officially hired on May 29, 2013.

    Milwaukee Bucks: Larry Drew was officially hired on May 31, 2013.

    Sacramento Kings: Mike Malone was officially hired on June 3, 2013.

    Detroit Pistons: Maurice Cheeks was officially hired on June 10, 2013.

    Brooklyn Nets: Jason Kidd was officially hired on June 12, 2013.

    Denver Nuggets: Brian Shaw was officially hired on June 25, 2013

    L.A. Clippers: Doc Rivers was officially hired  on June 26, 2013

    Memphis Grizzlies: Dave Joerger was officially hired on June 27, 2013.

    Boston Celtics: Brad Stevens was officially hired on July 3, 2013.

Philadelphia 76ers

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    After an exhaustive season came and went without a single minute of action from 2012 offseason addition Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins resigned with one year and $4.5 million left on his contract.

    With Bynum set to hit the free-agent market and rising All-Star Jrue Holiday getting traded to the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night, the Sixers appear to be bracing for a potentially lengthy rebuild.

     

    Potential Candidates

    David Fizdale

    ESPN's Marc Stein reports that Miami Heat assistant David Fizdale is on Philadelphia's radar.

    Per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the Sixers have now received permission from the Heat to speak with Fizdale.

     

    Melvin Hunt

    John Mitchell of The Philadelphia Enquirer reports that the Sixers are "considering talking" with the Denver Nuggets assistant, Melvin Hunt. Stein had previously mentioned Hunt as a possible candidate for Philadelphia.

    According to Broussard Sam Hinkie is still intrigued by prospect of hiring hunt, in addition to Pinckney and Griffin. Spears says that the Sixers have already contacted Denver in an attempt to speak with him.

     

    Ed Pinckney

    ESPN's Chris Broussard writes that the Sixers asked for and received permission to speak with Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney.

     

    Adrian Griffin

    Broussard also says the Sixers have received permission to talk with Adrian Griffin as well, another Bulls assistant.

     

    Brett Brown

    According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Philadelphia 76ers have requested permission to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown.

    Brown has been already been interviewed by the Nuggets and is quickly becoming a sought-after coaching candidate.

    Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported on June 27 that Brown will indeed be the next head coach of the Sixers, but Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express News reports that Brown has not been offered the job, nor has he even interviewed.

    This should play itself out before too much longer, and while Brown is under consideration, nothing is finalized.

     

    Michael Curry

    Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Enquirer reports that Collins' associate head coach, Curry, has been mentioned as a potential candidate to take over the Sixers head-coaching job.

    According to Comcast SportsNet's Dei Lynam adds that Curry will be coaching Philly's summer league team.

    RealGM.com's Shams Charania had previously reported that Curry said he would be interviewing for the position.

     

    Chris Finch

    Howard Eskin of Philadelphia's Fox 29 reports that he's been told Houston Rockets assistant Chris Finch is leading the race to become the Sixers next coach.

     

    Kelvin Sampson

    Mitchell reports that the Sixers have received permission to interview Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson.

     

    What They're After

    Philly's draft night acquisitions of Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel (out indefinitely rehabbing a torn ACL) indicate that new general manager Sam Hinkie will handle this reclamation project the same way he's taking this coaching search: slow and methodical.

    Look for the Sixers to target a candidate with a strong player development background. Holiday was the closest thing they had to an untouchable player, so his departure could be the first of multiple roster shakeups.

    And look for the Sixers' next coach to seek out some decent contract protection. It's going to take a while to get this team headed back up the standings.

Boston Celtics

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    After Doc Rivers, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers finalized an agreement to allow Rivers to coach in L.A., the C's must now find a new head coach to lead their rebuilding efforts.

    According to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, the team will take its time in finding a new head coach.

    A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet reports that Celtics president Danny Ainge has some candidates already in mind, but is "not prepared" to identify whom he's considering yet.

    Chris Foresberg of ESPNBoston.com reports that Ainge is content to take his coaching search slow, stating only that he's looking for, "a Michael Jordan" coach.

    According to an official press release by the Celtics, the team hired Butler's Brad Stevens as its head coach on July 3.


    Potential Candidates

    Vinny Del Negro

    Yes, the same coach who was not retained by the Clippers after a franchise-defining regular season is now a candidate to join the Celtics.

    According to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, Del Negro will receive "serious consideration" for the head coaching spot. That would certainly be interesting.

     

    Brett Brown

    Baxter Homes of The Boston Globe reports that San Antonio Spurs long-time assistant coach Brett Brown is "extremely" interested in coaching the Celtics.

     

    Lawrence Frank

    Could one of Rivers' old assistants replace him in Boston? Per Holmes, Frank's name is also on the Celtics' radar. 

     

    Jay Larranaga

    The Celtics will consider "several younger and lower-profile candidates" like current assistant Jay Larranaga, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

    ESPN's Marc Stein adds that Larranaga will coach the team in summer league, and that's being seen as an "audition" to see if he can replace Doc Rivers.

     

    What They're After

    The Celtics want to find a new head coach who can be committed to the team rebuilding, likely around Rajon Rondo. Finding the right coach to mesh with their best player will be of paramount importance. They're also looking for a discount from the $7 million they didn't want to pay Rivers next season.

Nate McMillan

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    Potential Suitors


    Indiana Pacers

    According to Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star, McMillan met with Pacers head coach Frank Vogel to discuss joining Indiana as an assistant. 

    Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports McMillan is finalizing an agreement to be the Pacers' top assistant.

    The Pacers have confirmed McMillan's hire, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.

    What He's After

    McMillan has spent his coaching career talking about defense, so he'd probably prefer a team that has size inside and athleticism on the perimeter. His teams haven't really supported the notion that he's a top defensive coach, though.

Alvin Gentry

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    Los Angeles Clippers

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Doc Rivers could bring Gentry onto his Clippers' staff as an assistant.

    Gentry will join Doc Rivers' staff with the Clippers in Los Angeles, a source told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles.

     

    What He's After

    Gentry's four-plus-year stay with the Phoenix Suns came to a screeching halt with his midseason firing, but that may have had more to do with the post-Steve Nash overhaul in Phoenix than it did with Gentry's coaching style.

George Karl

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    Interviews

    George Karl, the reigning Coach of the Year, is out as head coach of the Denver Nuggets. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news, and the team has since confirmed it.

    Although Karl doesn't have any interviews lined up yet, with just two openings remaining, the chances Karl finds a gig are slim. 

Lionel Hollins

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    Potential Suitors

    The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are Hollins only chances at returning to the head coaching ranks, otherwise he may look to latch on as an assistant coach for a team looking to flesh out its staff. 

    What He's After

    He'll probably seek out a situation that resembles the one he had with Memphis as much as possible. That'll mean a squad with a capable big man in the middle and a clear commitment to defense.

    None of his current suitors meet those criteria, but it'd probably be pretty hard to pass up a gig that involved coaching Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Vinny Del Negro

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    Potential Suitors

    Boston Celtics

    The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy reported Vinny Del Negro "will receive serious consideration" when the Celtics coaching position became vacant, but one source described Del Negro to Murphy as a "stopgap" without foreseeable long-term prospects in Boston.

     

    What He's After

    Left without a job after leading the Los Angeles Clippers to their best record in franchise history, Del Negro is going to entertain whatever teams express interest in him.

    It would be in his best interest to land on a team that doesn't have a superstar at the forefront. Whether or not Chris Paul had a part in his firing in L.A., he has that stigma now and could use to work in a different type of locker room.

Jeff Van Gundy

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    Interviews

    None so far.

    Potential Suitors

    None.

    What He's After

    Van Gundy has been out of the coaching ranks since being fired by Houston after a first-round playoff exit in 2007. He has a broadcast job with ESPN to fall back on if the right position is not made available to him.

    His teams qualified for postseason play in nine of his 11 seasons, meaning a rebuilding project might be out of the question. 

Kelvin Sampson

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    Interviews

    Philadelphia 76ers

    According to John Mitchell of The Inquirer, the Sixers have been granted permission to interview Kelvin Sampson for the job.

     

    What He's After

    Sampson doesn't have the cachet to demand much control over personnel decisions, so he'll have to take just about anything he can get.

    Ideally, the team Sampson ends up with will have some offensive firepower for him to tinker with. He's proven in stops in Milwaukee and Houston that he's capable of engineering high-scoring units. 

Stan Van Gundy

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    Interviews

    Stan Van Gundy has told David Baumann of Sports Talk Florida that he will not be a head coach in the NBA next season.

    “The longer you are out, the more difficult it is to get back in… Right now it’s not in the best interest of my family," he said.

    Just two days later, Van Gundy told Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel that there is a "possibility he may never coach again." 

    What He's After

    Because of his track record of success, Stan Van Gundy has the luxury of picking his landing spot. That means he can wait around, do a few more radio shows and kick back if the situation isn't right for his return.

    From what we know of SVG, the "right" situation is one that involves lots of veteran players who don't mind a hard-driving coach who's going to do plenty of yelling.

    He hasn't shown much patience with rookies and simply doesn't tolerate goof-offs (unless said goof-offs are all-world defensive centers). The ideal landing spot for him is a team that has a stable, veteran environment with a front office that won't butt in when he cranks up the volume.