Challenges for new coaches in Eastern Conference
To get familiar with all of the new faces, let's break down each hire. We already examined the five new coaches in the Western Conference. Now let's evaluate the eight new coaches in the East.
Bottom line: Budenholzer admits that he's not a "sexy hire" -- but he is a sound one. Not only was he one of the most accomplished candidates on the market, but he also appears to be a perfect fit for a Hawks team in search of a new identity.
Bottom line: Kidd's first-year record won't be a very good indicator of the job he's done because the Nets are bound to win regular-season games in bunches regardless of who's on the sideline. A better barometer will be how Brooklyn does against Miami, Indiana and Chicago -- the East elite, a club Brooklyn desperately wants to join.
Bottom line: The Cavaliers are a team on the rise and Brown could be the one to help them take the next step, particularly on the defensive end. He has experience handling a superstar, a solid relationship with the enigmatic Bynum and plenty of knowledge about the organization. The match makes so much sense, you start to wonder why they ever broke up in the first place.
Bottom line: None of the Pistons' past three coaches -- Lawrence Frank, John Kuester and Michael Curry -- lasted more than two seasons. To break that trend, Cheeks likely will need to succeed immediately. Pistons president Joe Dumars, who is in the last year of his contract, is clearly intent on halting a four-year playoff drought after doling out a combined $78 million for Smith and Jennings. A failure to make the postseason would be considered a disappointment.
Bottom line: General manager John Hammond said the Bucks "really want to start focusing on the youth of this team," an approach that apparently wasn't in play when Milwaukee traded an intriguing 21-year-old prospect, Tobias Harris, for a 29-year-old impending free agent, Redick, to solidify their playoff position. In any event, the success of building a promising core begins with Drew's work with rookie forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, 18; Knight, 21; power forward John Henson, 22; and center Larry Sanders, 24.
Bottom line: Brown was smart to push for a fourth guaranteed year on his contract; it's going to take some time for the Sixers to construct a winning roster. In the meantime, Brown can put his player-development skills to good use with Carter-Williams, Noel and potentially two lottery picks in the 2014 draft.