Nearly a third of the NBA's teams have actively sought out a new head coach since the regular season ended last month, and it's possible that we could see even more clubs decide to make a change in the coming weeks. The Kings' new ownership group may fully overhaul the front office and coaching staff, while the Raptors' new head of basketball operations could decide to replace Dwane Casey.
A pair of teams have hired new coaches, but most of the clubs making a change are still pursuing and interviewing candidates. Here's an update on the NBA's offseason coaching carousel:
Out: Larry Drew
Larry Drew technically remains under contract with the Hawks, but according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link), he hasn't been in touch with the team recently and is proceeding as if he won't be back. Stan Van Gundy had initially been linked to the Hawks' opening, but says he won't coach next season. That could be good news for Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer, who is viewed by some insiders as the favorite for the Atlanta job. CSKA Moscow head coach Ettore Messina is also reportedly being considered.
Out: P.J. Carlesimo
The Nets seem to be thoroughly researching potential candidates before reaching out to them, with a recent report suggesting that Phil Jackson was the only target approached by the team so far. Part of the reason for the deliberate pace may be the fact that two names viewed as likely top candidates, Brian Shaw and Lionel Hollins, remain active in the postseason.
Out: Mike Dunlap
When the Bobcats were seeking a a new head coach a year ago, their search was expansive and lasted several weeks. A year later, it appears that will be the case again. Kelvin Sampson, Alvin Gentry, and Elston Turner are among the candidates that have been interviewed by Charlotte so far, but the frontrunner may be Quin Snyder, who interviewed for the position last year as well. Chris Broussard reported last week that Snyder may be the preferred choice of Bobcats GM Rich Cho.
Out: Byron Scott
In: Mike Brown
The Cavs moved quickly to lock up Mike Brown, hiring him within a week of officially firing Byron Scott.
Out: Lawrence Frank
When Jackson was brought in as a pro-bono consultant for the Pistons' coaching search, it raised questions about whose voice would dominate the process: Jackson's or GM Joe Dumars'. If the Zen Master has more sway, the team may push hard for Shaw, a former Jackson assistant. Dumars is believed to favor Maurice Cheeks or Nate McMillan. Budenholzer, Lindsey Hunter, Darrell Walker, and J.B Bickerstaff have also reportedly met with the Pistons.
Los Angeles Clippers
Out: Vinny Del Negro
According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the Clippers are shooting for the big names before fully getting their search underway. That list would include Van Gundy, Hollins, and Shaw, at the very least. The Clips have also been linked on several occasions to Gentry, Scott, and Michael Malone, and are said to be high on McMillan.
Out: Jim Boylan
The latest report on the Bucks indicates the team has narrowed its focus to three finalists: Drew, Sampson, and Steve Clifford. All three are scheduled for second interviews with Milwaukee on Tuesday or Wednesday, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the team made a decision by the end of the week.
Out: Doug Collins
Several names, including Shaw, Sampson, and Michael Curry initially surfaced in the Sixers' search, but GM Tony DiLeo has since been replaced by Sam Hinkie. At the moment, Hinkie seems more focused on structuring the front office than naming a new coach, so it's unclear what the timetable is for a Sixers hire, or which candidates Hinkie is considering.
Out: Lindsey Hunter
In: Jeff Hornacek
The Suns and Jeff Hornacek reached an agreement yesterday, ending Phoenix's search.