NBA coaching tracker, candidates, rumors, updates: Knicks plan to interview TNT's Kenny Smith
Keep checking back for the latest rumors, firings and hires around the NBA coaching carousel
We're in a golden age of NBA coaching, so we're finding out just how important a coach can be to the continued success of a franchise. Brad Stevens in Boston, Quin Snyder in Utah and Dwane Casey in Toronto are just a few examples of coaches who have built their teams into contenders in just a short period of time.
Now that the offseason is here for the 14 teams that didn't make the playoffs, they'll evaluate their coaching situations to see if a change is needed.
The Knicks' Jeff Hornacek, the Magic's Frank Vogel and the Hornets' Steve Clifford have already gotten the axe. We'll continue to update this post with the latest firings, hires and rumors from around the league.
|Steve Clifford||VACANT||The Hornets cut ties with coach Steve Clifford after failing to make the playoffs for a second straight season. Clifford compiled a 196-214 record in Charlotte.|
|Frank Vogel||VACANT||The Magic fired Vogel after two years and a 54-110 record in Orlando. Vogel had his struggles, but he also didn't have a lot of talent to work with. When a team is pretty egregiously tanking, it's easy to hang the coach out to dry, and apparently Vogel took the brunt of that this season.|
|Jeff Hornacek||VACANT||The Knicks fired Hornacek after two seasons as the team's coach and a 60-104 record, the sixth-worst in the league during that time. Former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, former Golden State coach Mark Jackson, G League coach Jerry Stackhouse and TNT's Kenny Smith will all reportedly be considered for the vacancy.|
|Jason Kidd||Joe Prunty (interim)||The Bucks fired Kidd after he led the Bucks to a 23-22 start to his fourth season, and replaced him with Prunty for the remainder of the season. Chances are they'll be looking elsewhere for a permanent replacement this offseason.|
|David Fizdale||J.B. Bickerstaff (interim)||Fizdale might have been the most shocking firing of the season, as he was let go amid a reported struggle with Grizzlies center Marc Gasol . Fizdale is considered a hot commodity to grab another coaching job this offseason.|
|Earl Watson||Jay Triano (interim)||It didn't take the Suns long to realize that Watson wasn't their guy -- he was fired after just three games -- and Triano did an admirable job guiding the tanking efforts for the rest of the season. They'll search for a new coach this offseason to figure out which players are going to be a part of their future, and Triano is reportedly under consideration for the full-time gig.|
- Knicks rumors: New York is setting up interviews with the following candidates: Mike Woodson, David Fizdale, Jerry Stackhouse, Mark Jackson and former Cavaliers coach David Blatt, who is currently coaching in Europe, per ESPN. The team has reportedly not shown interest in Jeff Van Gundy for its vacant position. The Knicks are also wading into the college waters to check if two-time NCAA Tournament champion Jay Wright is interested in the position. Our Gary Parrish says it would seem like an . The Knicks also have plans to interview TV analyst Kenny Smith from Turner Network, according to ESPN.
- Suns rumors: Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has been having discussions with Suns management about their vacant coaching position, according to ESPN. There is a sense that he is seeking a way to become their next head coach. He has two years left on his deal with Atlanta. The Suns have an interview lined up with former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, according to the New York Times.
- Hornets rumors: Charlotte has been granted permission to interview Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for its open coaching position, according to ESPN. Messina has won multiple EuroLeague titles in Italy. Jerry Stackhouse, coach of the Raptors' G League team, will also interview for the opening, per ESPN.
- Magic rumors: The Magic plan to interview Jerry Stackhouse, according to ESPN.
Possible coaching candidates
- David Blatt, 58, former Cavaliers coach and current Turkish Super League coach
- Steve Clifford, 56, former Hornets coach
- David Fizdale, 43, former Grizzlies coach
- Jeff Hornacek, 54, former Knicks and Suns coach
- Mark Jackson, 53, TV analyst and former Warriors coach
- Jason Kidd, 45, former Nets and Bucks coach
- Ettore Messina, 58, current Spurs assistant
- Jerry Stackhouse, 43, current G League coach (Raptors 905)
- Jeff Van Gundy, 56, TV analyst and former Knicks and Rockets coach
- Frank Vogel, 44, former Magic and Pacers coach
- Mike Woodson, 60, former Hawks and Knicks coach; current Clippers assistant
- Jay Wright, 56, current Villanova coach and two-time NCAA Tournament champion
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