How NBA Coaching Carousel Will Impact Offseason Moves
With eight positions already filled and four still open, there is a bit of shifting yet to take place, and it will substantially affect the free-agent market and decisions surrounding the draft.
How will George Karl's firing impact personnel decisions for the Denver Nuggets?
How does the Los Angeles Clippers' coaching search affect Chris Paul's free agency?
What will happen if Doc Rivers leaves the Celtics and heads for L.A.?
Find out as we break down the major consequences of the coaching craziness.
Domino Effect of Doc Rivers' Potential Departure
If Doc Rivers parts ways with the Boston Celtics, the roster and the franchise will change dramatically.
ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that a source close to the situation said "he feels it might be time for a change." Sources subsequently told ESPN that there is mutual interest between Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers for him to become their next head coach.
If Rivers takes a break from coaching or joins another team such as the Clippers, it would be the end of the Celtics as we know them.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett wouldn't be willing to stick around for the post-Doc transition phase and the next chapter of Boston's history. That would officially mark the end of the Pierce-era Celtics.
If L.A. and Boston work out a way to send Rivers to Lob City, it could end up being a huge recruiting tool for the Clippers. It would make Chris Paul more inclined to re-sign, and therefore become a more attractive destination for other players—including Pierce and Garnett.
There's a rising belief around the NBA that Doc, KG & Pierce all want to carry on as a trio in Clipperland if they can't roll on in Boston— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 15, 2013
Rivers' departure isn't a sure thing yet, and Los Angeles would probably be required to provide some type of compensation, but it is a possibility. If he leaves Boston, both the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions will be reshaped this summer.
The Lionel Hollins Movement
Even though he led the Memphis Grizzlies to their first conference finals in franchise history, Lionel Hollins wasn't offered a contract extension and was sent packing.
Philosophical disagreements with management might have ended his time in Memphis, but that doesn't mean he couldn't attract some big-time players wherever he lands.
Hollins took a good roster and turned it into a unit that was one of the last two standing in the Western Conference, and his ability to develop players and guide them won't go unnoticed by potential signees.
He's a top candidate for most of the current head-coaching vacancies, including the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers jobs. As Clippers head coach, he would convince Chris Paul to re-sign because he can bolster the frontcourt's effectiveness and dramatically strengthen the team defense.
If hired by Denver, a defensive-minded player like Andre Iguodala (who recently opted out of his 2013-14 deal and is testing free agency) would probably be willing to sign an extension. Hollins is more attractive than the less-experienced candidates.
The Effect of George Karl's Denver Departure
The Denver Nuggets decided to end their nine-year relationship with 2012-13 NBA Coach of the Year George Karl, so there is a veteran skipper with over 1,100 wins on the market.
He's one of the top candidates for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies, although he has more competition in L.A. No matter where he lands, he'll draw a mixed reaction from potential players, because he's a winner without a ring.
The biggest offseason move affected by Karl's exit from Denver is Andre Iguodala's free-agent decision.
When Karl left, it brought uncertainty to the Nuggets' future, and that was certainly a factor in Iguodala's choice to opt out of the remainder of his current deal.
Iggy may still re-sign with Denver, but the team will have to work harder than it would have if Karl was still patrolling the sidelines.
Jason Kidd's Influence
It remains to be seen whether the Brooklyn Nets' new coach, Jason Kidd, will influence free agency, the trade market or have much say in the draft process.
However, a key coaching name could make his way to Barclays Center this summer if Kidd has his way.
Lawrence Frank, who was fired by the Detroit Pistons at the end of the 2012-13 season, is on Kidd's wish list for his coaching staff. Frank coached Kidd on the New Jersey Nets and led the team to four playoff appearances. His experience could help Kidd successfully launch his coaching career.
The pairing could be a home run for Brooklyn, so Frank should highly consider making the move.
Can the Other Newbies Make a Splash?
In addition to Jason Kidd, there are four new NBA head coaches without any head-coaching experience.
For the most part, these hires were made because the men are great basketball minds and leaders, not because they have special relationships with players or an inside track on free agents.
Mike Budenholzer's Atlanta Hawks have a lot of cash to work with, so all he needs to do is convince players that he can build success like he did alongside Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. He might even be able to persuade a couple current Spurs like DeJuan Blair to join him in Atlanta.
As for the other new hires (Steve Clifford, Charlotte; Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix; and Michael Malone, Sacramento), the odds are much lower to land a marquee name this offseason. Clifford's experience mentoring Dwight Howard could factor into the Bobcats pulling the trigger on Alex Len in the draft.
Due to their excellence as assistants, all these young coaches have earned credibility to an extent. But it doesn't compare to the reputation an experienced coach offers.
The Midwestern Veterans
In the Central Division, three skippers with prior experience take the reins of less-than-proud rosters, in hopes of competing with the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls.
Larry Drew (Milwaukee Bucks), Maurice Cheeks (Detroit Pistons) and Mike Brown (Cleveland Cavaliers) are ready to take their squads to the next level, but they need help.
Their locations aren't likely to attract many top-flight free agents, so one of the only ways they can make an impact in the offseason is via the draft.
Brown's Cavaliers hold the No. 1 pick, so Cleveland will evaluate the compatibility of Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore while considering trade offers.
Meanwhile, expect Cheeks' Pistons and Drew's Bucks to select dynamic guards in the middle of the first round.
In the long term, these coaches will be able to make waves, but for now, their 2013 offseason clout is limited to role-player signings and draft decisions.
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