Now that the Knicks and Nets have hired new head coaches, there are four NBA clubs that have coaching openings to fill. Those teams are the Bulls, Pacers, Pelicans, and Sixers, and each head coaching job comes with some pros and cons.
In Chicago, for instance, there’s a solid group of promising young players – including Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter, Coby White, and this year’s No. 4 overall pick – and expectations shouldn’t be overly high for the first year or two, since the team is still in the process of rebuilding.
The Bulls are somewhat lacking in star power, however, which may limit the team’s ceiling. That’s not the case in Philadelphia, where the Sixers have a pair of All-Stars – Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons – on long-term contracts.
That’s a great foundation to build upon, but the new 76ers head coach will be tasked with solving a puzzle that Brett Brown couldn’t — figuring out how to get the most of Embiid and Simmons together on offense. With Tobias Harris and Al Horford earning nearly $62MM combined in 2020/21, the team’s ability to make upgrades around its two stars will be limited, so maximizing the current roster will be paramount.
The Pelicans also have some star power that could appeal to a head coaching candidate, with Jrue Holiday serving as the team’s veteran leader, while Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are the rising young stars. It’s certainly an intriguing job, but Holiday is entering a contract year, Ingram is about to get very expensive, and Williamson hasn’t yet proven he can consistently remain healthy. Expectations in New Orleans are rising, putting added pressure on the team’s next head coach.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, Victor Oladipo is entering a contract year and it’s not clear whether or not he envisions a long-term future with the Pacers, which could complicate matters for a new head coach. Still, there’s a lot to work with here. Even if Oladipo and/or Myles Turner end up on the trade block at some point, the Pacers could get a strong return for either player and can lean on the likes of Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, and T.J. Warren.
What do you think? If you were a head coaching candidate with equal offers in hand from the Bulls, Pacers, Pelicans, and Sixers, which job would you take? Which one would be the least appealing, in your opinion?
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