Coaching Carousel, Draft News, and a Dwight Howard Sighting

College Hoops experts are (were, still kinda are) in full frenzy mode about all the coaching changes going on. Guy’s taking jobs here, others turning down millions there; it’s fun to watch (by watch I mean read about). But it’s not just in the ACC or Pac 10 where coaching vacancies are topic of the month, let’s check out the situation in the pro game, starting at home with our Cavs.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Pros– Possibility of coaching the greatest player on the planet, loyal fanbase, deep pocketed owners who are willing to spend, and possible free agent manoeuvrability (87% chance I spelt that wrong) this summer.

 

Cons – Possibility of losing the greatest player on the planet, losing a fan base dedicated to the King, missing out on all free agents - bar Rudy Gay this summer.

 

Do I still think Mike Brown did a good job? Hell yes, he was awesome. Five years of progression after progression – in the regular season. That’s what killed him; he has no jewellery to show for his efforts. That’s where the game’s judged on right? Rings, Championships, Legacy. Mike Brown left a defensive force behind him, but a lacking offensive unit. Not so much lacking, but let’s say, uninventive, if that’s a word. Chris Jentappears to be the new name on the rumor mill, why not? Good friend of LeBron, knows the organization, he’s a Buckeye and would probably let LeBron have the same “say” in team matters as Brown previously did. Oh yeah, in 2004-2005, he coached the three-point hoisters in Orlando for 18 games…5-13. Just saying. Is Coach K the answer? I don’t know, Brendan seems to think so. I like the idea, I don’t fancy the reality. It’d be like Megan Fox turning around tomorrow and saying “Sure, I’ll date the Irish guy over every other male in the world.” Great in principle. Disappointing in reality. Other names mentioned – well, we really haven’t got any inclination have we? July 1 will say a lot. Just me here thinking out loud however, Jeff van Gundy, Avery Johnson (surely we’re a better bet than the Hawks??) and maybe even John Calipari after all could be considered, the latter being extremely doubtful. Looks like LeBron James will be a major factor in more than just whom the Knicks go after in “Plan B” this summer after all.

 

Atlanta Hawks

 

Pros – Al Horford, Josh Smith, Jeff Teague and having to succeed a guy who lost four games by a combined 101 points in the PLAYOFFS. The frickin Playoffs!!

 

Cons– Joe Johnson is gone, Mike Bibby is pretty awful, Jamal Crawford is the wrong side of thirty and replacing the previous coach who improved their win total every season for five consecutive years in the regular season. The frickin REGULAR SEASON!!

 

 

Erm, he kind of had to go really after two years of first round sweeps, didn’t he? I will give him credit for one thing – he will forever be known as the man who got the memo to Josh Smith on him and three-point shooting – they don’t match. Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey has a second interview scheduled, Avery Johnson has had two already. Their eggs seem placed in one of two baskets; one belongs to a guy who had great regular seasons but two disappointing post seasons (sound familiar?) and the other belongs to a guy who mailed Chris Mills $1,000 dollars trying to get him to Kentucky. A two-horse race led by Johnson at the moment.

 

Chicago Bulls

 

Pros – Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah (unfortunately), its Chicago, cap space and a very attractive roster.
 

Cons– Having to see Joakim Noah every day of the season, Luol Deng as your top earner, chance of getting assaulted by your employer if you bench a player…funny and very, very true.

 

Listen, after the Cavaliers - and before the Clippers - the Bulls are the most attractive option out there. You have a superduperstar in Derrick Rose, one of the best big men in the league in the frizzy-haired one, some nice young pieces and plenty of room for additions. Phil Jackson seems to be the preferred choice; if the Bulls somehow land LeBron this summer he’ll take the job. Guaranteed. Lawrence Frank and Tom Thibodeau are other candidates being mentioned – I like the Thibodeau factor if for defensive purposes only. If those guys learn to play and sort of meaningful D then look out. Expect it to come down to the following factors – LeBron, Phil Jackson and the Lakers remaining post season, and whether or not they can get a star to come if number 23 6 doesn’t.

 

New Jersey Nets

 

Pros – Could get a very, very lucrative deal, Brooke Lopez’s development and getting to see Beyonce courtside.

 

Cons – Mikhail Prokhorov (little bit crazy), Yi’s development, it’s the Nets and they missed out on John Wall – that could have been a major seller.

 

John Wall + Brooke Lopez + Major Free Agent + A Determined Rich Owner = God-knows-what-but-it’d-be-fun-to-see kind of future. Downside is they landed in spot number three and missed out on John Wall. If they could go to Brooklyn next season instead of Newark, it would become a lot more inviting to the free agents out there. Coach K and an enormous contract isn’t happening, Phil Jackson is interested was a headline that caught my attention but is far fetched and after that it’s anybody’s guess. What they need is a guy with a track record of getting the most out of young guys in a bad spot, instilling belief and confidence into a group clearly lacking in both and also someone who has a pair. He’ll need to step up and be the guy who goes to Prokhorov if things aren’t going his way. Does that guy exist? Be pretty lucky for them if he did, be even better if he was Russian…

 

Los Angeles Clippers

 

Pros – Young talented nucleus, the 8th pick in the draft, location.

 

Cons – Donald Sterling, they play in the same place as the Fakers, the 8thpick in a draft that nobody knows how players after the fifth pick will fare, and it’s the Clippers!

 

Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Baron Davis, Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan and a choice between Xavier Henry, Cole Aldrich, Avery Bradley, Gordon Hayward, Daniel Orton and a host more in the draft. Maybe there is life after the fifth pick in the draft after all. On the flip side, do you want to take on the job of working under Donald Sterling? He’s like permanently angry/rude/abusive version of Vince McMahon when Vince was fun to watch. Except in real life. I’d jump at the chance of taking this job personally; watching Griffin and Gordon work together for the next ten years will be fun. If DeAndre Jordan wants it, he could be a darn good player. With money to spend and a chance to offer LA to free agents this summer, the Clippers might just be the perfect spot for a coach insane enough to go there.

 

New Orleans Hornets

 

Pros – Chris Paul, Darren Collison, Marcus Thornton and a community so tightly wound together it’s crazy

 

Cons – Emeka Okafor, the continuous loss of money and Peja Stojakovic eating up your cap space

 

 

Pity Darren Collison isn’t a small forward, which would be the ideal situation. It could be argued that their two best players occupy the same spot, which is unfortunate. Not the most attractive destination for free agents to go and play, but Chris Paul is a major bargaining factor. He makes everybody look god. Except Okafor. Mike Fratello and Tom Thibodeau seem to be the main targets for the Hornets, but a couple of assistant coaches have had the chance to pitch their ideas to the owners also.  GM Jeff Bower has a tough job this summer to find the right man for the job, isn’t he tight with Jeff Van Gundy though? Hmmmm…

 

Just a few other things that come to mind:

 

Is Evan Turner looking at landing in New Jersey with some people mentioning Derrick Favors as the 76ers preference with the second pick?

 

I thought Dwight Howard was still in Atlanta shooting uncontested jump hooks, turns out he is playing in the Boston-Orlando series. Pity we only found this out in Game Three.

 

Nate McMillan’s future should not be placed in doubt – he did a heck of a job this season playing with an average of 8 healthy players a night. 

 

The Suns play good DEFENSE!

 

Why did they axe Megan Fox from Transformers 3? That sucks a whole lot…I know it’s not NBA related, but chances are you’re a male between the ages of 16 to 40, this totally applies to you and mankind as a whole. Add that to the list of movies in which part three really doesn’t belong, like Scream and Ace Venture. Yes, they made an Ace Ventura 3! 

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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