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The NBA’s Head Coaching Carousel

Back in June, I compiled a list of the longest-tenured head coaches in the NBA, a collection of names that seems somewhat comical just a couple months later. Since then, the league's second- and third-longest-tenured coaches (Doc Rivers and George Karl) have been replaced, as has No. 7 (Lionel Hollins).

The 2013 offseason involved a flurry of head coaching movement that ultimately saw nearly half of the league's teams make changes. 13 clubs will start the 2013/14 with a new head coach, and there's no guarantee that many of the other 17 are safe in the long-term either. Here's a breakdown of the current statuses of the NBA's 30 head coaches:

New hires:

  • Atlanta Hawks: Mike Budenholzer
  • Boston Celtics: Brad Stevens
  • Brooklyn Nets: Jason Kidd
  • Charlotte Bobcats: Steve Clifford
  • Cleveland Cavaliers: Mike Brown
  • Denver Nuggets: Brian Shaw
  • Detroit Pistons: Maurice Cheeks
  • Los Angeles Clippers: Doc Rivers
  • Memphis Grizzlies: Dave Joerger
  • Milwaukee Bucks: Larry Drew
  • Philadelphia 76ers: Brett Brown
  • Phoenix Suns: Jeff Hornacek
  • Sacramento Kings: Michael Malone

Firmly entrenched:

  • Chicago Bulls: Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau and Bulls ownership haven't always seen eye to eye, but the two sides agreed to a lucrative four-year extension for the former Coach of the Year last fall, so Thibodeau should remain on Chicago's bench for the foreseeable future.
  • Dallas Mavericks: Rick Carlisle. The Mavs inked Carlisle to a long-term extension last year that should keep him under contract through at least 2016.
  • Golden State Warriors: Mark Jackson. Earlier this offseason, the Warriors picked up Jackson's option for 2014/15, meaning he's locked up for two more seasons. Owner Joe Lacob has also said he envisions Jackson as the team's long-term coach.
  • Houston Rockets: Kevin McHale. With Dwight Howard having signed with the Rockets, McHale figures to play a key role in ensuring D12 excels in Houston. McHale still has two years remaining on his contract, and owner Leslie Alexander has said his head coach is "not going anywhere."
  • Indiana Pacers: Frank Vogel. Vogel's Pacers arguably overachieved in 2012/13, coming within a single win of the NBA Finals. Indiana locked its head coach up earlier this year to a deal that runs through 2014/15.
  • Miami Heat: Erik Spoelstra. Spoelstra's latest contract extension is set to expire after the 2013/14 season, but coming off two consecutive championships, the Heat's head coach will get a new deal if he wants one. Team president Pat Riley has said he expects Spoelstra to remain in Miami after Riley himself is gone.
  • New Orleans Pelicans: Monty Williams. Williams has only led New Orleans to a .409 winning percentage in his three seasons with the team, but it's unlikely he'll be on the hot seat anytime soon, after agreeing to an extension that keeps him under contract through 2016.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Scott Brooks. Despite the Thunder's disappointing finish in 2012/13, Brooks remains the team's long-term choice at head coach, having signed a four-year extension last summer.
  • San Antonio Spurs: Gregg Popovich. The Spurs figure to keep Popovich around as long as he wants to stay, though perhaps that won't be a whole lot longer. The NBA's longest-tenured coach has indicated he may retire when Tim Duncan does.


  • Los Angeles Lakers: Mike D'Antoni. The Lakers have repeatedly thrown their support behind D'Antoni, who will no longer have to worry about finding the best way to utilize Howard. With two more guaranteed seasons remaining on his contract, D'Antoni looks safe for now, but another rocky season in L.A. will have fans calling for a change.
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: Rick Adelman. Adelman's future with the Timberwolves is only uncertain because it's not clear how much longer he wants to stay in Minnesota. His wife's health problems had Adelman reportedly considering resigning, and while the Wolves expect him back for 2013/14, it still hadn't been 100% confirmed as of earlier this month.
  • New York Knicks: Mike Woodson. Woodson doesn't start the season in any danger of losing his job, but '13/14 is the last guaranteed year on his contract, so an early exit from the playoffs next year could mean trouble for Woodson's long-term future in New York.
  • Orlando Magic: Jacque Vaughn. There are no indications at all that the Magic are unhappy with Vaughn, who was just hired last summer. However, after he led the team to an NBA-worst 20-62 mark in 2012/13, it's probably premature to assume the team is certain that he'll be the coach for the next five or 10 years.
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Terry Stotts. The blurb on Vaughn and the Magic can also be applied to Stotts, who was hired last summer as well. It's still too early to assume he's in any trouble or to assume he's the team's long-term answer.
  • Toronto Raptors: Dwane Casey. Entering the last year of his contract, Casey looks safe for now, but he was hired by the team's previous regime. Masai Ujiri and company could decide to bring in their own head coach a year from now.
  • Utah Jazz: Tyrone Corbin. Although Dennis Lindsey and the Jazz endorsed Corbin at the end of the season, he'll be entering the final year of his contract. The team stuck with Corbin after he had some issues with former Jazz players like Raja Bell and C.J. Miles, but it's not clear yet whether he's in the club's long-term plans.
  • Washington Wizards: Randy Wittman. Anything less than a postseason berth will likely be viewed as a disappointment for the Wizards in 2013/14. If Wittman can't get the team to the playoffs in the final year of his deal, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Washington explore other options next summer.

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