NBA Rumors: Latest on Vacant Coaching Positions Around the League

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIJune 7, 2013

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 15:  Head coach George Karl leads the Denver Nuggets against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Pepsi Center on January 15, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Trail Blazers 115-111 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

With Denver firing head coach George Karl (h/t, a slew of rumors have popped up around the NBA about his next landing spot.

Karl isn’t the only coach rumored to be on the verge of scoring a new job elsewhere. Other top candidates, like still-employed Memphis Grizzlies headman Lionel Hollins and former Cleveland Cavaliers boss Byron Scott, are also in the mix to land some of the best open NBA coaching positions.

Here is the latest buzz surrounding the top coaching vacancies around the league.


Denver Nuggets

After firing Karl, the Denver Nuggets arguably vaulted themselves into the top available coaching position, shaking things up in the market in the process.

With an abundance of young and versatile talent, the Nuggets could pursue another proven veteran coach like Karl to maximize the talent of their roster. However, CBS Sports’ Ken Berger reported on Twitter that Lionel Hollins and Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw are their top choices to replace Karl:

The Pacers waited until their NBA playoffs exit to give Shaw the ability to negotiate with other teams, and he is currently being pursued by multiple teams in addition to Denver, including Brooklyn and Los Angeles, according to writer Scott Agness.

According to Agness, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel expects Shaw will land a job elsewhere unless there are “some poor decisions being made by some teams out there.”


Memphis Grizzlies

Yes, Lionel Hollins is still employed as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. But how much longer will he hold that position? The team has granted him the ability to negotiate with potential suitors after negotiations between the two sides stalled, according to ESPN Los Angeles reporter Ramona Shelburne.

Shelburne also said the Brooklyn Nets will get a chance to interview the coach for their head coaching vacancy if they request to do so again. Their initial request was denied shortly after the Grizzlies’ semifinals loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

With Hollins’ departure becoming more likely by the day, Memphis has centered its future plans on current assistant coach David Joerger, Karl and Alvin Gentry, according to Grizzlies beat writer Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal:


Los Angeles Clippers

According to Shelburne, the Los Angeles Clippers originally pegged Shaw, who we know is going to land somewhere in a head coaching position, as their top choice to replace Vinny Del Negro.

However, Karl’s recent availability may have put a wrinkle in things for the Clips. ESPN reported following his dismissal that sources close to the coach believe he is “very intrigued” by the opening in Los Angeles.

The report also suggested that the team was moving slowly in its pursuit of a successor to Del Negro due to their belief Karl would be made available sometime during the offseason.