The free agency period starts in a few weeks from now. However, many teams have already begun their reconstruction and plans for the next season. That includes a change in the coaching position in many cases. Up to now, we’ve seen several teams parting ways with their coaches, some of them longtime associates. In fact, this year we saw many teams that found success seeking for upgrades in the coaching positions. Let’s break down the most significant cases.
First of all, the Denver Nuggets, a team that found great success this season and also had a long partnership with Head Coach George Karl, decided to seek for a replacement. Although there is no doubt Coach Karl is one of the premier coaches in the league, this might be the correct time for a new voice to be heard in Denver. The team possesses great young talent in its roster and wants to emerge to the forefront of the NBA the next years. The new coach, whoever he is, is expected to take the team by the hand and show the road to success.
There are many options available for Denver at the moment. Brian Shaw from the Indiana Pacers is one of the top candidates. Recently-fired Lionel Hollins from the Memphis Grizzlies is another. Byron Scott and Alvin Gentry are two other options. In fact, due to the several firings we saw in the last days, all these coaches could end up in any of the teams with vacant coaching positions.
The afore mentioned Lionel Hollins, who again saw great success this season with the Memphis Grizzlies is also now available on the market. After leading the Grizzlies to a franchise record for most wins in a season and also to the Western Conference NBA Finals, the team decided to part ways with him. The name of Dave Joerger is heard as a candidate for Memphis and also George Karl but things could change as time passes and more coaches become available.
Another team that saw several franchise records being broken this regular season, the Los Angeles Clippers decided to mix things up it the coaching position. LA decided to stop its cooperation with Vinny Del Negro, despite their first Division Title and the new record for most wins in a row. The early Playoff exit and the softness the Clips showed in the postseason urged the team’s management to seek other options for the coaching position. The resigning of superstar Chris Paul is also their priority, so they’ll seek for a coach who fits this condition. Brian Shaw was supposed to be the top candidate though other names were thrown on the table, like the ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy and also George Karl. Hollins also will be closely examined. The Clips will try to find the best fit, the coach who can take the team to the next level and lead it to an NBA Championship.
In general, we saw many good teams, which entered the Playoffs in the search for an upgrade. In fact, with so many quality coaches available, we are about to see drastic changes as we’ll enter the next season.