Stan Van Gundy could be a sought after commodity on the coaching market.
As the NBA's elite contend for a title in the closing weeks of the postseason, some of the league's less prosperous franchises are in the market for new head coaches.
Whether it be a franchise in need of total reconstruction (Charlotte Bobcats) or an annual playoff contender that is sick of repetitive results (Atlanta Hawks), a number of teams are chasing a wide range of qualified candidates.
From splashy names to lesser known assistant coaches, there's someone out there for every team in need of a new head coach.
Note: All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless noted otherwise.
As a preface, it feels appropriate to address the Phil Jackson situation.
Despite being connected to a number of different franchises, it's become clear that Jackson is more interested in a front office gig than anything else at this point.
Jackson told the Los Angeles Times that he's intrigued by the possibility of joining a potential Seattle franchise's front office, but at this point it appears that coaching is out of the question.
Assuming the role of head coach at his age would be a tall task for Jackson, as he'd likely be tasked with joining a franchise that's years away from championship contention.
With a career winning percentage of .704 as a head coach, Jackson would be better served trying to construct a team rather than coach one at this point in his career.
No concrete evidence has connected Byron Scott with a future employer, and that's not surprising when you look at recent history.
Although the Cleveland Cavaliers did cut the cord on the Scott experiment rather early (fired after three seasons), his hiring by any franchise would be seen more as a retread than a solution.
Scott has been dealt some ugly hands during his 13 seasons as a head coach (career .444 winning percentage), so it may be in his best interest to sit out a year or two and wait for the right opportunity.
With franchises like the Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns all looking for long-term solutions, Scott's past doesn't inspire hope that his hiring could lead to prolonged success.
Like Byron Scott, Lawrence Frank is in a tough position after being fired by the Detroit Pistons.
Frank hasn't led a team to a winning percentage of .500 or better in a season since the New Jersey Nets went 41-41 in 2006-07, and he failed to crack the .400 mark in two seasons in the Motor City.
For teams looking to bust out of a cycle of perpetual mediocrity, Frank isn't the answer. As established in Detroit, Frank isn't the coach that a young team primed to go through growing pains is looking for.
Frank has yet to be linked to a vacancy, but if a high-profile one should emerge, it wouldn't be a major shock to see him get involved in the interview process.
Should Frank find himself the leader of a team with established veterans capable of winning right away, he could be successful.
Currently an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, Mike Malone's name has popped up continually through the spring months in connection to head coaching gigs.
Back in April, Malone was reportedly high on the Philadelphia 76ers' wish list, according to CSNPhilly, but that was before the team hired Sam Hinkie to be the new general manager.
Hinkie is formerly of the Houston Rockets, a team that excelled in running and gunning, which is similar to how the Warriors operated this past season.
Although the Sixers don't yet have the correct personnel to play at such a tempo, hiring Malone could be a step in the right direction for a franchise that's in need of changes across the board.
While a big name would appease the needy Philadelphia fanbase, Malone could be a nice under-the-radar hire for Hinkie in his first season with the Sixers.
Larry Drew's tenure with the Atlanta Hawks appears to be coming to an unceremonious ending, as his former employer decided enough was enough after three underwhelming postseason appearances
With the Hawks looking to move in a different direction, Drew will be free to interview elsewhere, and according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he has an interview with the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
Drew's teams in Atlanta were always stout defensively (ranking 13th, sixth and 10th in defensive rating over three seasons) but struggled offensively, ranking 20th, 16th and 18th in offensive rating since 2010.
An established coach with a playoff pedigree, Drew shouldn't have much trouble finding work next season.
After Sam Amick of USA Today reported that Jerry Sloan was a candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks' vacant head coaching spot, it appeared as if the former Utah Jazz icon was primed for a return to the bench at age 71.
However, David Aldridge of NBA.com quickly followed up, noting that Sloan is looking for a team that's ready to compete right away:
Glass said that Sloan, third on the all-time coaching wins list with 1,221 victories, would be interested in coaching a playoff-level team.
"Jerry probably is a lot like Scott, in that the working conditions and where the team is (contender-wise) are important," Glass said. "For Jerry to go to a place that's going to take years to build—and I'm not talking about Milwaukee, I'm talking about anywhere—that's just not right for him. They have to be able to compete. Jerry is a competitor, and he wants to compete and teach."
A man of Sloan's credentials shouldn't have any problem drawing interest from coach-needy teams. The real task will be finding a team that fits his narrow criteria.
Rumors surrounding the return of Jeff Van Gundy to the bench have been prevalent for a while now, but thus far there has been no definitive connection between the current ESPN commentator and a specific franchise.
While chatter regarding Van Gundy has died down recently, there's no doubting that the former New York Knicks head man would be an intriguing fit in Brooklyn.
With experience coaching in a large media market and a compelling personality, Van Gundy has a career .575 winning percentage that would be welcomed with open arms by Mikhail Prokhorov.
In Van Gundy's last season as a head coach, he led the Houston Rockets to a 52-30 record (.634 winning percentage), but they were ultimately bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Utah Jazz.
Having already interviewed with both the Atlanta Hawks, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Detroit Pistons, per Yahoo! Sports, San Antonio Spurs' assistant Mike Budenholzer is firmly on the league's head coaching radar.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Budenholzer has earned his stripes as Gregg Popovich's right-hand man:
He's considered one of the NBA's top assistant coaches, and could ultimately be Popovich's successor should he decide to stay until the Spurs' future Hall of Fame coach retires.
Budenholzer has been on Popovich's staff for 16 years, including the past five as his top assistant.
With an education from arguably the league's best coach, Budenholzer feels like a rather safe bet for a young team that's on the cusp of playoff contention.
Of all of the high-profile coaches available, Nate McMillan has received the most substantial interest league-wide.
Not only have the Atlanta Hawks interviewed McMillan, per Yahoo! Sports, but he's interviewed with the Milwaukee Bucks as well, according to CBS Sports. He was once reportedly the front-runner for the Detroit Pistons' job, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Although McMillan's career winning percentage is just over .500 (.514 to be exact), he's shown patience in the past, building the Portland Trail Blazers up from a lottery team into a legitimate playoff contender (21-61 in 2005-06, 54-28 in 2008-09).
With younger teams like the Pistons and Bucks taking hard looks at McMillan, he could prove to be a nice fit with one of those Central division franchises.
As far as assistant coaches go, Brian Shaw is the pre-eminent name among a rather deep group vying for head coaching jobs.
Alongside Mike Budenholzer and Kelvin Sampson, Shaw has established himself as an intelligent basketball mind. He has the potential to become a fantastic head coach in just a few years.
Having served as an assistant to Phil Jackson in his days on the Los Angeles Lakers bench, Shaw has a wealth of knowledge that will be put to good use once he's hired for a starring gig.
Now an assistant under Frank Vogel in Indiana, Shaw has plenty of strategies stored in his head, both offensively and defensively, that could make him a a great hire for either a young team on the rise or an established contender.
It's been speculated in the past that Shaw's commitment to the triangle offense has scared off teams from utilizing his services, but at some point, a team in need of an intelligent basketball mind will take a chance on the experienced assistant.
There's no denying Stan Van Gundy is the best available head coach at this point and time.
With a career winning percentage of .641, Van Gundy has been more than steady in his time as a head coach with the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, winning 50 or more games in five of the six full seasons he's coached at the professional level.
To this point, Van Gundy has been linked most significantly with the Atlanta Hawks, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the former Magic coach has interviewed with the team.
However, with the Hawks apparently looking elsewhere, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, it will be fascinating to see which teams express interest in Van Gundy moving forward.