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A Guide to the NBA Coaching Carousel

Several head-coaching jobs opened up during the season and after; some have been filled, some remain open — we catch you up on the coaching carousel.

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NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA Playoffs claiming victims left and right, most franchises have shifted focus from on-court play to the off-season. May and June are sure to be dominated by trade rumors, NBA Free Agency, and the dreaded head-coaching carousel. With teams searching for fresh voices to help deliver on unfulfilled promises, we’ve already seen considerable movement in the coaching job market. Here’s a recap of coaching positions open, filled, and in flux.

Atlanta Hawks

Head coach opening: filled by Lloyd Pierce
2017-18 record: 24-58
2017-18 head coach: Mike Budenholzer (mutually parted ways)
One thing to read: Before agreeing to become their head coach, Sixers assistant Lloyd Pierce was upbeat about chances his chances to become Atlanta Hawks head coach (Keith Pompey,

Charlotte Hornets

Head coach opening: filled by James Borrego
2017-18 record: 36-46
2017-18 head coach: Steve Clifford (fired)
One thing to read: Hornets have a new coach, James Borrego. The situation he inherits is complicated (Tom Sorensen, Charlotte Observer)

Detroit Pistons

Head coach opening: vacant
2017-18 record: 39-43
2017-18 head coach: Stan Van Gundy (fired)
Rumored/reported candidates: Jerry Stackhouse, Raptors G-League head coach; Mike Budenholzer, former Hawks head coach
One thing to read: What went wrong for the Pistons, and how can they fix it? (Kevin Pelton, ESPN)

Memphis Grizzlies

Head coach opening: filled by J.B. Bickerstaff
2017-18 record: 22-60
2017-18 head coach: David Fizdale (fired); J.B. Bickerstaff (interim)
One thing to read: On “coaching searches” and missed opportunities in Memphis (Joe Mullinax, Grizzly Bear Blues)

Milwaukee Bucks

Head coach opening: vacant
2017-18 record: 44-38
2017-18 head coach: Jason Kidd (fired); Joe Prunty (interim)
Rumored/reported candidates: Becky Hammon, Spurs assistant; David Blatt, former Cavaliers head coach; Rick Carlisle, current Mavericks head coach (he denied interest in the job)
One thing to read: Don’t Fault Becky Hammon’s Experience: Most NBA Coaches Never Played In The NBA, Either (David Berri, Forbes)

New York Knicks

Head coach opening: filled by David Fizdale
2017-18 record: 29-53
2017-18 head coach: Jeff Hornacek (fired)
One thing to read: David Fizdale gets his second shot in the NBA’s brightest coaching spotlight (William C. Rhoden, The Undefeated)

Orlando Magic

Head coach opening: vacant
2017-18 record: 25-57
2017-18 head coach: Frank Vogel (fired)
Rumored/reported candidates: David Vanterpool, Trail Blazers assistant; Ime Udoka, Spurs assistant; Stan Van Gundy, former Pistons head coach
One thing to read: Differentiating assistant coaches a difficult task for Orlando Magic (Philip Rossman-Reich, Orlando Magic Daily)

Phoenix Suns

Head coach opening: filled by Igor Kokoskov
2017-18 record: 21-61
2017-18 head coach: Earl Watson (fired); Jay Triano (interim)
One thing to read: Igor Kokoskov’s hiring offers clues to Suns’ plans this summer (Scott Bordow, azcentral sports)

Toronto Raptors

Head coach opening: vacant
2017-18 record: 59-23
2017-18 head coach: Dwane Casey (fired this morning)
One thing to read: Josh Lewenberg of Canadian media outlet TSN foreshadowed the move, plus there will be plenty of hot takes today

Portland Waits...

The Portland Trail Blazers’ Head Coaching situation seems to be stable for now, but their assistant coaching staff is in full swing around the league.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Terry Stotts’ job was possibly in jeopardy after Portland’s early playoff exit, with the Magic as a potential suitor already lined up for his services. However, Stein followed up about two weeks later saying the Blazers preferred to keep Stotts heading into the final year of his contract. Assistants David Vanterpool (Hornets, Magic) and Nate Tibbetts (Hawks) have already interviewed around the league. Tibbetts is said to be one of four candidates left for the Hawks job.