Ranking the NBA coaching openings: Pros and cons of every job

Danny Thompson

After the Los Angeles Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, the NBA has only four teams left in their journey to find a champion. But during this time of year for some of the teams that are not playing, it has become a time to find a new leader. With as many as eight teams looking for a new head coach, the upcoming season will be full of change around the association.  

Only the Brooklyn Nets (Steve Nash) and New York Knicks (Tom Thibodeau) have already found their head coaches so far. Between the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans, there are plenty of good jobs for the really deep pool of quality head coaching candidates to choose from. 

So let’s take a look at my rankings of the available head coaching jobs around the league this off-season.  

Philadelphia 76ers 

Pros:  

  • Having two All-Stars who haven’t hit their prime yet (Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid).
  • Very good complementary players (Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Josh Richardson).
  • One of the best fanbases in the entire league.

Cons:  

  • Having an elite player (Simmons) who just refuses to shoot the basketball.
  • Having an elite player (Embiid) who has injury history.
  • An extremely top heavy team when it comes to the salary cap with not much flexibility to provide a better bench than what is available. 

Chicago Bulls 

Pros:  

  • Because of a brand new front office, this job will allow for a bit of job security as everyone gets settled in.
  • Talented young players (Zach LaVine, Coby White and Wendell Carter Jr).
  • A top-5 draft pick to be able to mold and add to this group.

Cons:

  • The Bulls haven’t won consistently and they do not know how to win as a group.
  • For all of the talent, the Bulls are inconsistent and they need to have a coach to help them to mature.
  • Fixing a team culture that had to endure Jim Boylan has coaching style over the last year and a half.

New Orleans Pelicans 

Pros: 

  • Zion Williamson.
  • A solid group of young players (Jaxson Hayes, Nickel Alexander-Walker, Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball) that are ready to break out 
  • One of the best General Managers in the NBA (David Griffin).

Cons

  • The unknown futures of both Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday .
  • Zion Williamson’s ability to get into viable playing shape and weight to avoid injuries.
  • Can this team get to the playoffs next season with Golden State ready to return back to their playoff spot? 

Indiana Pacers

Pros:

  • A pre-existing playoff team that has chip on its shoulder after losing in the opening round of the playoffs the last four seasons . 
  • Two all-star level players (Victor Oladipo and Domatas Sabonis) .
  • Talented roster.

Cons:

  • Oladipo has not been healthy in almost two calendar years and in the middle of a contract year . 
  • Myles Turner's inability to stay consistent.
  • Is team talented enough to make a deep playoff run? 

Oklahoma City Thunder 

Pros:  

  • A potential star in the backcourt (Shai Gilgious-Alexander) as the starting piece.
  • Having a GM (Sam Presti) that is not afraid to make a blockbuster trade.
  • Plenty of draft picks and a team that will give you time to develop them.

Cons: 

  • The potential of not getting full value of talent if Chris Paul is traded, which could create a mishaped roster .
  • Potentially not being able to play in the playoffs next year in a loaded western conference.
  • The idea of the Thunder going into a rebuild for the future 

Houston Rockets 

Pros: 

  • Having the most dynamic offensive player in the NBA as your centerpiece.
  • A front office that will go out and make moves to help the team win games.
  • An owner with deep pockets that allows the GM (Daryl Morey) to make shrewd moves 

Cons: 

  • The Mike D’Antoni inspired roster has left holes all over the place .
  • No salary cap space to bring in size.
  • Having to figure out how would Harden and Westbrook work in a potentially different offense that might not be able to use both properly.
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