NBA Coaching Changes 2014: Tracking Rumors, Hires and Fires

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2014

NBA Coaching Changes 2014: Tracking Rumors, Hires and Fires

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    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    A throng of NBA franchises have found themselves looking for a new head coach after severing ties with incumbent honchos in the wake of regular-season failure, closed-door dysfunction, instability and even retirement. 

    After weeks of hirings and firings, the NBA's coaching carousel is slowly winding down.

    Which direction are the still coach-less teams looking?

    Well, that's why you're here.

    There are no shortage of head coaching candidates out there. From established big names, to novices with flair, to assistants looking for an upgrade, the NBA's coaching pool is packed with hopeful job-seekers.

    Who among them will find new digs in the coming days, weeks and months?

    Let's take a look at the few remaining teams who still have to get their coaching house in order.

     

    NOTE: Only teams with open coaching gigs are considered here. Those who have already hired replacements will be removed from this list.

     

Los Angeles Lakers

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    After the Lakers made it clear they would not be picking up D'Antoni's team option for 2015-16, he resigned. Now the club has another hole it must fill.

    The Lakers' roster is in need of some serious overhauling, and with Kobe Bryant entering what will likely be the final two years of his career, they need to find a model of stability who can help them make sense of what their future has in store.

     

    Potential Candidates

    Byron Scott

    According to TWC SportsNet's Jaime Maggio, Byron Scott has also declared his interest in the Lakers' vacant coaching spot.

    Scott most recently spent time with the Cavaliers, and he has a known advocate in Bryant. He is also the only candidate to have interviewed with the Lakers twice so far, according to ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.

    Make that three times. 

    Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com says Scott has now interviewed with the Lakers on three separate occasions.

    Can you say "favorite?"

     

    Nate McMillan

    Sources told CSNNW.com's Chris Haynes that two teams have "reached out" to Nate McMillan's representatives. He's currently an assistant with the Indiana Pacers.

    Considering that the Lakers and Cavaliers are the only two teams without a head honcho at the moment, it's a safe bet they're the clubs that Haynes is talking about.

     

    George Karl

    Nothing like a quiet little powwow between a coach and potential employer.

    George Karl, the 2012-13 Coach of the Year, has already interviewed with the Lakers, according to USA Today's Sam Amick.

    While he fits the bill for what Los Angeles is seeking—experienced head coach—Amick does note that the Lakers' search is expected to take more time. The team wants to keep its options open in case star free agents like Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James show interest in playing alongside Kobe Bryant this sumer.

     

    Kurt Rambis

    The Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan says Kurt Rambis has already interviewed with the Lakers about their head coach position.

    Rambis spent last year as an assistant under D'Antoni. His prior experience includes manning the Lakers during the 1998-99 campaign, and a two-year stay with the Timberwolves that saw him lose at least 65 games in consecutive seasons.

    However, Bleacher Report's Howard Beck now confirms Rambis is be on the short list to join the staff of Derek Fisher, who was hired as the new head coach of the New York Knicks. Additionally, Beck reports that he's still one of the three primary targets in Hollywood. 

     

    Lionel Hollins

    Add Lionel Hollins to the list of Lakers head coach candidates.

    Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski says the team plans to interview Hollins "later this week." His sit down with the Lakers comes after their face-to-face meetings with Byron Scott and Mike Dunleavy.

    Hollins' participation in Los Angeles' coaching search is particularly interesting because—unlike Dunleavy and Scott—he doesn't have ties to the organization. As one of the biggest names available, though, it was only a matter of time before he was granted a meeting. 

    Said meeting will take place Thursday, May 30, according to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan.

    Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News confirmed as much, adding that Hollins will also meet with the Cavs.

     

    What They're After

    During an interview with Lakers.com's Mike Trudell, general manager Mitch Kupchak said the team has not reached out to any candidates, and prefers to wait and see where they fall in the draft lottery before making any decisions.

    This is a smart move. Depending where the Lakers fall, they may look to deal their first-round draftee in order to accelerate the rebuilding process, or they could hold onto him, therefore increasing the need for a coach prepared to slog through a transitioning period.