NBA Roundtable

Available Head Coaches

In Coaches Corner, Free Agency on January 18, 2010 at 7:27 am

Free Agency For Coaches

Trying to compile a short list of experienced head coaches who are currently available.

A free agent list for Head Coaches

  • Avery Johnson
  • Donnie Nelson (GM in Dallas)
  • Paul Silas
  • Jeff Van Gundy
  • Del Harris (assistant in NJ)
  • Sam Mitchell
  • Dwayne Casey (assistant in Dallas)
  • Lawrence Frank
  • Byron Scott
  • Mike Fratello
  • Phil Johnson
  • Doug Collins
  • Butch Carter
  • Bernie Bickerstaff
  • Dave Cowens
  • Bill Cartwright (assistant in Phoenix)
  • Mo Cheeks (assistant in OKC)
  • Eric Musselman

Who else deserves to be placed on this short list?


I’m not adding the following types of coaches at this point in time – assistant coaches + college coaches + international coaches – because I consider them prospects versus proven NBA head coaches.

  1. You missed Sam Mitchell

  2. Jeez, how did I miss Sam Mitchell?

    Oh, that’s shameful … I was thinking through the Raptors past coaches and I was wondering whether to include Lenny Wilkens or not! Completely overlooked Sam Mitchell.

    Nice catch, I’ll add him to the list.

  3. free agents that should be there regardless of experience, imo:

    Bill Laimbeer
    Julius Erving
    Michael Cooper
    Marc Jackson (ass.)
    Kareem Alcindor
    Paul Westphal

    Jerry West? : )

  4. Hey Fluxland, good to see your name popping up in familiar haunts over the past few days!

    I was making a list of experienced head coaches because a couple of searches were done on the site (wordpress) for that type of information. That’s the reason for the post. Satisfy someone’s need for that information.


    Off of that list … I’m particularly interested in Bill Laimbeer, Michael Cooper and Kareem. Not sold on Mark Jackson and doubtful that Erving would make a good coach.

    Ettore Messina and David Blatt are two international coaches I’d love to see get a chance in the NBA. Brian Shaw. Tom Thibodeau. Elston Turner. Keith Smart. Sam Cassell. A couple of other very interesting coaching prospects amongst the assistant coaching ranks.

  5. Dave,

    I’d also add Mario Elie to your initial list of Laimbeer, Cooper and Kareem.

  6. Khandor,

    Mario Elie is a great name. I’m surprised his coaching career has moved so slowly. He’s moved around a fair bit (Spurs, Warriors, Mavs and now Kings), I think that’s hurt his chances of getting a head coach in past summers. But it’ll come in time.

    Surprisingly, Chuck Person has developed a very good reputation as an assistant coach. He’s someone to look out for too.

  7. Thanks, Dave. I appreciate it.

    You actually had me thinking about the Head Coach FA list all night last night.

    Larry Brown’s brother? Does he still travel with him?
    dare I say.. Doug Collins?
    what about the Utah Jazz crew? Is Sloan keeping some gems to himself there?

    I agree with you on Mark Jackson, I’m just convinced he could help a team as an assistant in some capacity with the PGs, no? And Ettore is highly intriguing – I would be shocked if he doesn’t get an opportunity in the NBA.

  8. Fluxland,

    Tyrone Corbin is a highly regarded assistant coach down in Utah. He is expected to be first in line to replace Jerry Sloan once Sloan decides to call it a career. Not a certainty, Utah’s GM has said they’ll fully explore all options at the time, but that Corbin has the inside track and that they’re impressed by him.

    Tyrone Corbin was actually getting a lot of interest for head coaching vacancies around the league two years ago but that interest seems to have died off since then. I’m not sure why.

  9. Good article on listing a number of coaches who are on the hot seat + replacement options.

    They list both experienced coaches + emerging assistants. It’s an interesting list.

    Update: Good article on Ty Corbin in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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