The coaching carousel has just opened as at least four NBA teams from contenders like the Boston Celtics to rebuilding teams like the Orlando Magic are all in the market for a new coach. And wouldn’t you know it, you can pick who each team will hire and get paid to it per the NBA betting specials.
Keep an eye out for rumors, stay glued to social media, and stalk NBA insiders. Maybe not this last part, but you get the drift as we scout some notable coaches who may or may not fit what these teams are planning to do.
New Coaches: Who’s Going Where?
Boston Celtics: Making History
It was a trying season for the Boston Celtics, but they finished strong and with their heads held high that they fought the Brooklyn Nets. Now comes another challenge: hiring the right coach to not only take over but push this team to achieve.
As the most high-profile NBA team in search of a new coach, the media has already started the narrative of the Celtics making NBA history by becoming the first team to hire a woman as a head coach.
There are qualified candidates, especially Becky Hammon (+1000), who became the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs.
Not only is Hammon a legendary WNBA player, but she’s coming from Gregg Popovich’s prestigious coaching tree that includes Mike Budenholzer and Monty Williams, who have three Coach of the Year awards between them.
But beyond Hammon, the Celtics could go a variety of ways. They could hire a former NBA star like Chauncey Billups (+325) or Jason Kidd (+450). Or they could take someone with roots in the organization like Kevin McHale (+750) or crash social media by taking the great White Mamba himself, Brian Scalabrine (+5000).
The “safe” route is to go with an already-established coach like Mike D’Antoni (+2200) or Mike Budenholzer (+5000) if and when they get the chance to do so. Both are still with their current teams. But wait a while longer.
Pick: Mike Budenholzer +5000
Portland Trail Blazers: Taking A Shot
Out West, the Portland Trail Blazers have been making their own news by letting go of Terry Stotts. With lots of talk regarding Damian Lillard’s future with the team, the Blazers have to decide what direction they are going to take.
If Lillard reaffirms he’s staying in Portland (+125), the team then needs to find a coach that can get them to the next level similarly to the Celtics. If that’s the case, finding a proven coach like Mike D’Antoni (+1000) sounds like the best bet online. Hammon (+900) is also a strong candidate given her coaching chops under Popovich.
But if Lillard thanks the organization and says sayonara, then it might be time to go for a soft rebuild. You’ll then need someone like, Kenny Atkinson (+650) or Steve Clifford (+1200) who have shown they can get the most out of teams in similar situations.
It’s more of the former as Lillard will likely stay. If that happens, taking a shot at Hammon or another talented assistant like David Vanterpool (+1200) could be a sly move.
The odds board has Chauncey Billups as the favorite at (+325).
Pick: Becky Hammon +900
Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers: Going in on Stotts
Two more teams in need of new coaches are Orlando and Indiana. Both fired their coaches after disappointing seasons. Despite both appearing to be in different stages, they have the same goal: to make the playoffs. Both could realistically make a hard push for him.
Stotts, an offensive-minded coach, can reignite the Pacers’ offense, which tapered towards the end of the year. Indiana has plenty of firepower and he can help the likes G Malcolm Brogdon and F Caris LeVert hit new levels offensively.
The Magic are a bit on the uglier side having gotten rid of their best players. But don’t be so quick to consider this team a rebuilding one even if that’s what they’re being labeled as. With the right coach, the Magic could surprise folks and contend for a play-in spot like the Hornets did this season.
As the Orlando Magic move into a full rebuilding process, coach Steve Clifford and the franchise have agreed together to a parting, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 5, 2021
Stotts can bring more organization to this team while sharpening the scoring prowess of a talented but green backcourt that could add the prized prospect, G Cade Cunningham, if the Magic win the NBA Draft Lottery.
It’s a matter of who wants Stotts more. But either way, Stotts is more than likely landing in one of these two teams.