2021 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker

With another regular season in the books, a handful of teams around the NBA are making head coaching changes in advance of the 2021/22 campaign.

In the space below, we’ll provide daily updates on the head coaching searches for each club that has yet to give anyone the permanent title. Some of these searches could extend well into the summer, so be sure to check back each day for the latest updates.

You’ll be able to access this page anytime under the “Hoops Rumors Features” menu on the right sidebar on our desktop site, or on the “Features” page in our mobile menu.

Updated 6-23-21 (2:08pm CT)


Active Searches:

Dallas Mavericks

  • Previous coach:
  • Interviewed/expected to interview:
    • TBD
  • Other rumored candidates/targets:
    • Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley (story)
    • Former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts (story)
    • Lakers assistant Jason Kidd (story)

Carlisle’s resignation was just the latest bombshell in one of the most eventful off-the-court weeks in Mavericks history, following closely on the heels of Donnie Nelson‘s exit from the franchise. Replacing Carlisle, who was in Dallas for 13 years and was the NBA’s third longest-tenured head coach at the time of his departure, won’t be easy. The Mavs will be seeking a leader who can help the team grow into a legit title contender and who will mesh well with franchise player Luka Doncic.

Indiana Pacers

  • Previous coach:
  • Interviewed/expected to interview:
    • Former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts (story)
    • Former Magic coach Steve Clifford (story)
    • G League Ignite coach Brian Shaw (story)
  • Other rumored candidates/targets:
    • Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer (story)
    • Former Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle (story)

Bjorkgren lost his job as the Pacers’ head coach after just a year, reportedly due in large part to poor communication issues and a tendency to micro-manage. Indiana is said to be seeking a more experienced, established head coach to replace a first-timer who didn’t work out.

New Orleans Pelicans

  • Previous coach:
  • Interviewed/expected to interview:
    • Nets assistant Jacque Vaughn (story)
    • Bucks assistant Charles Lee (story)
  • Other rumored candidates/targets:
    • Pelicans assistant Teresa Weatherspoon (story)
    • Pelicans assistant Fred Vinson (story)
    • Lakers assistant Jason Kidd (story)
    • Nets assistant Ime Udoka (story)
    • Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups (story)

Van Gundy failed to connect with the young players on the Pelicans’ roster and failed to make good on his goal of improving the team’s defense, resulting in a short-lived stint as the head coach. New Orleans will make every effort to hit a home run on its next coaching hire to avoid subjecting its young stars to more turnover. Van Gundy’s replacement will be Zion Williamson‘s third head coach in three years.

Orlando Magic

  • Previous coach:
  • Interviewed/expected to interview:
    • Spurs assistant Becky Hammon (story)
    • Lakers assistant Jason Kidd (story)
    • Nuggets associate head coach Wes Unseld Jr. (story)
    • Suns assistant Willie Green (story)
    • Bucks assistant Charles Lee (story)
    • Nets assistant Ime Udoka (story)
  • Other rumored candidates/targets:
    • Former Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts (story)
    • Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni (story)
    • Clippers assistant Kenny Atkinson (story)
    • Clippers assistant Dan Craig (story)
    • Bucks assistant Darvin Ham (story)
    • Former Warriors assistant Jarron Collins (story)
    • Sixers assistant Sam Cassell (story)
    • Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups (story)

The Magic and Clifford reportedly discussed a contract extension before going their separate ways. However, Clifford apparently wasn’t ready to sign up for a protracted rebuilding process. Orlando figures to shift its focus to a coach with a strong track record of player development who is willing to be patient with a young roster.

Portland Trail Blazers

  • Previous coach:
  • Interviewed/expected to interview:
    • Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups (second interview)
    • Spurs assistant Becky Hammon (second interview)
    • Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni (story)
    • Spurs vice president of basketball operations Brent Barry (story)
    • South Carolina women’s coach Dawn Staley (story)
    • Celtics assistant Jerome Allen (story)
  • Other rumored candidates/targets:
    • Michigan coach Juwan Howard (story)
    • Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy (story)
  • Withdrawn from consideration:
    • Lakers assistant Jason Kidd (story)

Long rumored to be on the hot seat if Portland didn’t make a deep playoff run this spring, Stotts was let go by the Blazers shortly after the team was knocked out of the postseason by Denver.

Initial reports stated that Damian Lillard‘s input would play a major part in the Blazers’ coaching hire, and the All-Star guard expressed public support for Kidd and Billups. However, Kidd subsequently withdrew his name from consideration, reportedly uncomfortable with the idea of pursuing the job following Lillard’s public endorsement. That may leave Billups as a frontrunner.

Washington Wizards

  • Previous coach:
  • Interviewed/expected to interview:
    • TBD
  • Other rumored candidates/targets:
    • Nuggets associate head coach Wes Unseld Jr. (story)
    • Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups (story)

The 2020/21 season was the final one in Brooks’ contract, so unlike most of the other coaches on this list, he wasn’t technically dismissed — he and the Wizards just ended up not negotiating a new contract. Washington will now be in the market for a new head coach, and it seems safe to assume star guards Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal will have a voice in the hiring process.


Completed Searches:

Boston Celtics

  • New coach:
  • Previous coach:
  • Also reportedly considered:
    • Celtics assistant Jerome Allen (story)
    • Celtics assistant Scott Morrison (story)
    • Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga (story)
    • Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla (story)
    • Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups (story)
    • Bucks assistant Darvin Ham (story)
    • Bucks assistant Charles Lee (story)
    • Mavericks assistant Jamahl Mosley (story)
    • Lakers assistant Jason Kidd (story)
    • Former Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce (story)
    • Sixers assistant Sam Cassell (story)
    • Duke women’s coach Kara Lawson (story)
    • Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni (story)

Despite a disappointing season in Boston, Stevens wasn’t expected to be in any danger of losing his job this spring. And technically, he didn’t lose his job — he actually received a promotion, as he was named the Celtics’ new president of basketball operations and led the search for his replacement.

He ultimately landed on Udoka, who has extensive experience as an assistant coach for the Nets, Sixers, and Spurs. Udoka was also a member of the Team USA staff at the 2019 World Cup, reportedly impressing a number of Celtics players at that event.


Situations To Monitor:

Milwaukee Bucks

  • Current coach: Mike Budenholzer
  • No coach has had a better regular season record over the last three years than Budenholzer, who had led the Bucks to a 162-65 (.714) mark since the start of the 2018/19 season. But the club fell short of its postseason expectations in 2019 and 2020. If it happens again this year, there’s a sense that Budenholzer’s job will be in jeopardy, with some potential candidates already being identified.
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