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The Little Black Book of Available Coaches

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by smoothie, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. smoothie

    smoothie Jabari Jungle

    Mar 1, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I started writing/researching this post the day mchale was fired! I hope you guys enjoy :)

    I'd like to share my thoughts on the state of the market, who's out there, and who fits with Les and Morey. First I'd like to explain that this post intended to look at the market through the lens of Les and Morey's eyes, not my own. Here's what I think they will look for:

    Les - I believe winning is important to him, but he wants a fast paced style of play. I doubt he considers any other style of play, even if that means hiring a lesser candidate. He’s also always hired a big name coach. Although this is secondary, I think he enjoys the big name hires that can stir some buzz and sell some tickets.

    Morey - DM wants 2 things out of a coach. First, they have to be open to using analytics. No one can be sure how much control DM likes to have on coaching. JVG said Morey didn’t micromanage, but we saw his system much more heavy handed under McHale. He wants 3’s/ft’s/layups, and Les wants fast breaks... I highly doubt a strict half court set coach gets considered, even if he’s the better candidate. Second, Morey has to make a safe choice. If he hires another bad coach, he could be on the hot seat. He’s probably not swinging for the fences on this one. He needs a safe bet, not high risk / high reward.

    With that lens in mind, lets look at the market.

    *Keep in mind that there is a chance for other names to pop up as the year goes on.*

    -For the college coaches, a lot depends on tournament success this year.
    -For the NBA coaches, others may get fired or hired before we start our search this summer.

    Here are available NBA head coaches, in no order:
    1. adelman - unfortunately, he's got a bad relationship with les. no chance. if it were up to me, i'd give him the SVG deal; coach and pres of bball ops.
    2. JVG - same as above, plus les didn't even like his style of play.
    3. thibs- same as above, by association with the JVG. harden likes him from their time with team usa, and he's the biggest name out there, so there a a chance.
    4. brooks - brooks would be the recruiter that morey wants. he's a big name, especially since winning a ring as a rocket, so les would be happy. harden likes him. im sure he’d be open to the style of play les and morey want. consider him a candidate for better or worse.
    5. m.jackson - created a mess in gs. prob cant clean up this one.
    6. d'antoni - les fired JVG sayng he wants "phoenix style" offense. here's the guy, but les wont risk pissing off dwight who left LA to get away from him. edit; he's with the sixers now anyway
    7. avery - coaching career is trending down. went from the mavs to the nets and now just signed on to coach alabama.
    8. hubie - too old. his best coaching years are behind him.
    9. collins - good at turning around a team, but not pushing them over the top which we need.
    10. del negro - was interviewed by the rockets before so there might be something there that les/morey are interested in, but he's known for being strategically challenged. i dont think les or morey would see this as an upgrade.
    11. mike brown - known for his defense and slow pace. probably doesn't excite morey or les too much.
    12. mike fratello - defensive oriented and slow paced, head strong, hard nosed... the opposite of what les, morey, and harden would want.
    13. mike dunleavy sr. - was interviewed by the rockets before (again, they might see something they like here) hasn't coached in 6 years and was an average coach with no clear system, but isn't a big enough name for les nor a clear enough upgrade for morey.
    14. lionel hollins - as of today he's available. great defensive coach, but not the offense les and morey are looking for. morey wanted to bring him on as mchale's assistant before he took the nets job, so there is some interest there, but maybe not as the head coach of the team.

    my takeaways from this list:

    brooks - pencil in brooks for an interview. he checks off les' desire for a big name, and as a former rocket would have extra appeal. he checks off morey's desire for a recruiter (durant), and someone who has no system of their own, so would happily adopt morey's system. he has a great relationship with james. unfortunately, he's a very strong candidate.

    thibs - i would also not be surprised either way, if thibs gets an interview or not. he's a big name that les likes, and harden praised working with him for team usa. on the other hand, les might consider that bridge burnt, while morey would consider him impossible to work with.

    hollins - he doesnt fit the uptempo style that les wants, and but we know morey wanted him as the top assistant as recently as before last season. i think the interest was more to help mchale with strategy than to actually replace him as head coach. still, he's a contender.

    here are the best assistant coaches available in no particular order:
    (I will include some coaching history for each since their experience isn't as well known as the coaches in the first list)
    1. jim boylen - won championships as an assistant for rudy t and then pop. also coached under tom izzo, frank vogel, and now fred hoiberg. he's known as one of the best shooting coaches in the nba (credited for making the spurs one of the best shooting teams in the nba) as well as one of the best defensive strategists.
    2. nate mcmillan - did a good job as a HC in seattle and portland, as an assistant to coach K with team USA, and now as an assistant under frank vogel. known as a rare combintion of defensive minded but player friendly. he was an average head coach but time under vogel might have taught him something about game management, and recently changing the team’s identity from a slow paced defensive team to an up tempo 3 point shooting team could make him appealing to the les/morey.
    3. kenny atkinson - assistant for d'antoni in NY, and now under coach bud in ATL. known for player development and has a good grasp of offense and ball movement thanks to his 2 mentors.
    4. Jay Larranaga - assisted doc in boston, and now brad stevens. also assists mike fratello on the ukraine national team.
    5. Tyronn Lue - assisted under doc in boston and LA. now is an associate HC to david blatt with the cavs. won championships as a player for phil with the lakers. has a history of player development, a knowledge of half-court offensive ball movement from phil and blatt, and has a knowledge of thibs' defense that doc learned in boston. also has a reputation as a players coach. well respected in nba circles as very deserving of a coaching opportunity.
    6. Ime Udoka - played for pop for 3 years, and is in his 4th as an assistant for him. one of pop's rising coaching stars. pop says udoka is already better than him at managing player's personalities and added "the only thing i dont like about him is he doesn't drink." with only a few years on the bench, he might not be ready for the first chair yet.
    7. Ed Pinckney - started under jay wright for 4 years in villanova (wright is known for one of the best offensive systems in ncaa), then balanced that by working under thibs for 5 years where he was praised for his grasp of defensive schemes. currently under malone in denver. known as a tireless worker in game preparation and as a players coach.
    8. Adrian Griffin - 5 years as an assistant under thibs and 3 under skiles, he's obviously known as a great defensive assistant. he also unofficially assisted team usa's minicamps thanks to the thibs connection. why get a thibs disciple when you can get thibs?
    9. J.B. Bickerstaff - assisted his dad in charlotte for 3 years and the next 8 under the likes of whittman, mchale, rambis, and mchale again. like his dad he's known for his defense. he's got enough years on the sideline but not enough time under quality mentors. he'll get his chance this year but will probably be replaced as HC. however i bet he's kept on our bench under the next coach.
    10. ron adams - assisted tarkanian, lucas, karl, skiles, thibs, stevens, and currently kerr during his 45 year career. known as one of the best defensive assistants in the league, but has also coached for some of the most up-tempo / high powered offenses under tarkanian, karl, and kerr. for all of his knowledge and experience, at 68 im not sure if he even wants to be a HC, and if so, do we want someone who's probably thinking of retiring soon? he'd be a big upgrade but not a long term solution.
    11. David Fizdale - has a history of player development and most famously credited for helping lebron add post game (although, didn't lebron work with hakeem?). 8 years under spoelstra with 2 championships gives him a solid knowledge of game management and player management, as well as knowledge of spo's switching defense and 'positionless' offense (which they have recently gone away from since acquiring a real center and PG). he's a strong assistant, but not a big enough name for les, or a safe enough choice for morey.
    12. Ettore Messina 4x euro league champion, 4x italian league champion, and 7x italian cup champion. 5x russian league champion, and 2x russian cup champion. he’s won (a lot) everywhere. now assisting pop, he’s known as a tough coach to play for. known for his defense and playing through the post in a half-court offense. he’s a celebrated coach, but slow/half court offense is the opposite of what les and morey want. still, he should be considered but will have to convince les/morey that he will run a fast paced offense and avoid the mid range game.
    13. Mike Woodson won a championship under larry brown in detroit. put atlanta on the map over 6 years at the helm, but struck out in new york. now assisting doc, but known for his defensive schemes and little else. doesn’t seem like a fit for les or morey.
    14. Lawrence Frank served under brian hill and byron scott (yawn). didnt have any real success after 9 seasons as a head coach of the nets or pistons. did his best work in boston and LA under doc as the defensive coordinator. probably best in that role as a lead assistant.
    15. sam cassell - one of the smartest players of his time. has a ton of potential as a coach but most of his experience has come learning from only slightly above average coaches, saunders and wittman. now he’s on doc’s staff and has a chance to really learn, but is only in his second year there. right now his strength is in player development, specifically guards. we love him but he still needs more time.
    16. mario ellie - another fan favorite that’s not ready yet. spent one year under pop and one more under carlisle, but the rest of his years have been spent learning from a slew of mediocre coaches. still needs some time before he’s ready for the first chair.
    17. elston turner - we know him so i dont need to add his resume. that adelman bridge might be burnt, especially since they let him go to get mchale... you think they will let mchale go to get him now? doesn't make sense. plus he's known for his defense more than the adelman offense. great assistant, and will make a good coach but not for us.
    18. luke walton - just became a big name, spent lots of years playing for phil, and now coaching under kerr. only one problem, he's been an assistant coach for about 18 months and now as interim coach he's basically holding the wheel straight when it was kerr that built the car. great future, but may not ready to build the car yet. still, might appeal to les (big name, up tempo), morey (similar system / probably seen as willing to listen to analytics), and to harden (former player, easy going).
    19. monty williams - proved to be a good defensive coach, but probably best as a defensive coordinator. wrong style for les and morey.
    20. mo cheeks - if i forgot the lyrics to the national anthem, this is the guy i'd want. but he's not going to be seen as an upgrade at this point in his career. probably best in his current role as senior advisor to a new coach.

    my takeaways from this list:

    messina - big name and safe choice probably appeal to les and morey. however, will he be willing to adopt morey’s system on offense? will he at least be willing to run a fast break offense for les? he’s a great coach, maybe the best on the market, but both sides will have to compromise to make this work. credit to les and morey if they do, but i just dont see them budging.

    boylen - should appeal to les since he was on rudy's staff, morey might like the idea of his reputation as a top shooting coach and running the spurs offense... but they might also dislike that he's a smaller name, can't be used to recruit, and is more half court oriented. however, he’s one of the best candidates on the market, which makes him a safe choice for morey.

    lue - he is a name that's praised around the nba for game and player management. anyone that hires him is due for some media praise as well, something morey might actually need to avoid the hot seat. the offense from phil/blatt is probably appealing to les and morey, and i bet he’s open to input from analytics.

    walton - the suns might grab him before we get a chance. if he's around at season's end, i believe les would like that he's a big name now with an up tempo offense. i think morey would like that he's probably willing to listen to analytics... and the fact that like lue, the media will all praise this hire as the right move, will help keep him off the hot seat.

    mcmillan - the pacers are playing the style morey and les want to play. mcmillan helped vogel change their identity from slow defense to fast 3 point shooting. more credit to vogel for changing his style and philosophy on the fly, but mcmillan was there for both and surely picked up on defensive/offensive schemes, as well as game management and adjustments that vogel is so good at.

    here are the best college basketball coaches, again in no order:
    (with donavan, hoiberg, and stevens leading the way, more nba teams are looking into the college ranks)
    first we have to cross off the 'lifers' who will retire where they are. lets not waste time discussing them as real possibilities.
    1. coach k (duke) - 68 years old. 36 years at duke.
    2. roy williams (UNC) - 65 years old. 13 years at UNC.
    3. jim boeheim (syracuse) - 71 years old. 40 years at syracuse.
    4. john calipari (UK)- recently turned down lucrative offer from kings that would’ve made him coach and GM. “for the 100th time, i have the best coaching job in the world.”
    5. bo ryan (winsconsin) - retired while i was writing this post.
    6. mike brey (ND) - only 56 years old but with 15 years at ND and a new 10yr extension it doesn't look like he's interested in leaving for the nba
    7. mark few (gonzaga) - only 53, but nearly 30 years at gonzaga as an assistant and head coach.
    8. john beilein (michigan) - only 9 years at michigan, but i doubt at 62 years old he wants to start a new career in the nba at this stage.
    9. bob mckillop (davidson) - 65 years old. 25 years at davidson.
    10. dave rose (byu) - only 57 years old. however after 18 years at byu it will be tough to pry rose away.
    11. kevin stallings (vanderbilt) - only 55 but 17 years at vanderbilt.
    12. rick byrd (belmont) - 62 years old. 30 years at belmont.
    13. randy bennett (st. mary’s) - only 53 years old but been at st. mary's for 15 years.
    14. rick pitino (louisville) - 63 years old, been at louisville for 15 years.
    15. tom izzo (michigan state) - 60 years old, 20 years at msu.
    16. thad matta (ohio st) - only 48 but 11 years at ohio state.
    17. steve fisher (sdsu) - 70, 16 years at sdsu

    now we can look at coaches might be interested in making the jump, including a little info about their philosophy and resume since some are lesser known.
    1. tim cluess (iona) - fast break offense. once joked that d’antoni’s 7 second offense was slow! his scrimmages use a 5 second shot clock. unlike d’antoni he likes to structure the fast break and emphasizes keeping turnovers down. led the ncaa is 3’s attempted, and was 3rd in fast break points. like d’antoni, pays little attention to defense or half court execution. i think les, morey, and harden would love this guy’s style... dwight not so much... but morey likes drafting from bigger programs because he places great value on tournament experience and level of competition, both might be strikes against cluess.

    2. larry krystkowiak (utah) - says he’d like to play like the spurs (who doesnt?). runs a similar motion offense that relies heavily on read and react. emphasizes constant movement, and having all 5 players being a scoring threat. well balanced on defense too. uses mostly man to man which will translate well to the nba. his defense jumped from 119th to 36th to 5th in the ncaa. defensive philosophy is based on unpredictability. he was quoted as saying he likes to throw curveballs on defense, give opponents different looks. believes in having offensive and defensive coordinators as assistant coaches. i think his offense is something that would appeal to les and morey, while his shared leadership approach (using 2 coordinators) would also appeal to morey. he’s young enough (51) to grow with the rockets, and shouldn’t be tough (after only 5 years in utah) to pry away, and i believe he’d be interested in a return to nba coaching.

    3. steve alford (ucla)- garnered recognition for his defense while head coach at new mexico, and for his motion offense with ucla. however, it has been documented that it was long time assistant craig neal that should be credited for the x’s and o’s. neal became the head coach in new mexico when alford left for ucla. on his own he’s received some praise for his cutting and screening offense but also some criticism as a tactician. shows promise but not ready to head an nba team yet.

    4. lon kruger (oklahoma) - known for his flex offense that focuses on high ball screens at the top of the key. seems like a great fit for H&H. his offense ranked as high as 7th in the nation, but has recently added a new focus on defense which relies heavily on packing the paint and forcing outside/low% shots. this goes against morey’s philosohpy of limiting opponents 3s. only been there 5 years, and has tried the jump to the nba before, but at 63 does he really want to try it again?

    5. jay wright (villanova) - one of ncaa’s best offenses. he runs a 4-out-motion. the system would be aligned with the style that morey wants to play, but wright does rely on small ball lineups which may not translate to the nba very well. his switching and trapping defense would translate well. and his defensive philosophy of limiting opponents 3s fits right in with morey’s ideals. after 15 years at villanova, will he want to leave?

    6. dana altman (oregon) - Dana Altman is one of only six active coaches in NCAA Division I with 18 consecutive winning seasons. He is part of an exclusive fraternity that includes Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo, Roy Williams, Bill Self and Jim Boeheim. high post offense similar to adelman. designed to open the paint for cuts and drives. would be great for our role players who cant create their own shot (ariza, brew, beverley). harden would have a clear lane to attack. not a whole lot discussed about his defense, but he’s a seasoned winner. with a good defensive assistant (maybe we keep jb?) he could be a good candidate. the knock against him is that for all of those winning seasons, there hasn't been any real tournament success. we know how much morey values tournament success when drafting players, my sense is he feels the same about coaches.

    7. kelvin sampson (UH) - remember him? he was our X’s and O’s guy before leaving for UH. his leaving exposed mchale’s shortcomings but also proved his own worth as a strategist. We know he’s got nba ready defense which would be an improvement from what we have now. we know he’s comfortable working within morey’s system. pop said about sampson “As a coach, he knows what wins and loses. He's disciplined, he's demanding, but he cares about his people." not a bad endorsement. sampson says his philosophy is to play fast, stress defense, and shoot 3s. his 1-4 motion offense is designed to get scoring options from the outside and the post, which makes it a good fit for H&H. morey must be considering this guy again, but les might consider the bridge burnt and maybe too risky for morey to keep himself off of the hot seat.

    8. tony bennet (virginia) - a CBS poll of college coaches voted him the best defensive mind in the ncaa. he likes to pack the paint and cut off driving lanes with help defenders. relying heavily on help defenders creates a more ‘team’ defense which will greatly help harden. thibs uses this type of defense and was able to cover ray allen’s short comings in boston. unlike thibs or jvg, he’s got a pretty solid offensive system called the blocker-mover offense. its a variation of a motion offense that restricts ‘blockers’ (think dwight/capela/harrell)to setting screens, rolling to the basket, and scoring off putbacks. it allows ‘movers’ the freedom to read and react to the defense by using an off-ball screen to get open for an outside shot, or for cutting to the basket. they can also call for an on-ball screen and run a PnR. this would work really well for the way this team is constructed. at 46 years old he could be a long term option, but will packing the paint work against nba shooters? can he adjust his offense to allow for a 4th ‘mover’ since stretch 4s are all the rage? great college coach, but if you want defense and slow offense, just hire thibs or messina.

    9. sean miller (arizona) - big believer in defensive analytics. designed one of the best defenses in the ncaa (ranked #1 in opponent Efg%) by forcing opponents to shoot mid range shots (can you hear morey’s ears perking up?). on offense he’s considered a ‘solid’ but improved coach. (this will all sound very familiar) they like to play fast, preferring fast breaks and 3s as a first option before getting into their half-court passing game which can sometimes breakdown into 1-on-1 play. however, there has been notable improvement as they went from 86th to 7th in the country on offense in the last 3 years. miller has been working on that half-court passing game, and has built in a very nice motion offense. he’s only 47 and has only spent 6 years in arizona, so he shouldn’t be too difficult to pry loose. espn ranked him last year as one of the top head coaching prospects for the nba. he’d be a natural fit in houston, and an upgrade as a strategist.

    10. bill self (kansas) - after 13 years in kansas he hasn’t ruled out the jump to the nba. however, it would be hard to imagine why he would want to leave one of the best coaching jobs in the country. he uses as high-low motion offense that focuses on the interplay between the 2 bigs, and specifically tries to get the ball into the post as the first option, while sometimes diminishing the role of the perimeter players. this isn’t the best system for our roster, and self is pretty stubborn about sticking to the system even when his best players aren’t big guys. he’s a great coach and anyone would be lucky to have him, but the rockets will ask him to adjust/compromise, and he wont leave kansas for that.

    11. shaka smart (texas) - known for his ‘havoc’ defense that consists of various full-court presses, traps, and double teams to force turn overs. while this works well in college, it may not translate well as a primary defense in the nba. however, it may be effective as a situational defense to stop a run, or just throw off the opponent. on offense he uses a fast break offense, usually started by a forced turnover. still in his 30s he’s got plenty of potential but isn’t ready yet.

    12. kevin ollie (uconn) - revered for player management, and in game management (timeouts, out of bounds plays, substitution patterns, half time and timeout adjustments, etc...). uses a ball-denial defense that attempts to cut off passing lanes which makes it difficult for the opponent to have much ball movement. he likes to use transition offense to get easy buckets, but in the half court he uses a similar motion offense as his buddy fred hoiberg. he’s well balanced on both ends. system is a good fit for les and morey, and he’s probably open to listening to analytics.

    my takeaways from this list:

    although they haven't ruled out wanting to go to the nba, i'm going to say that jay wright, bill self, and lon kruger are probably not realistic options. dana altman is a good coach and a good fit (from a big program which morey likes), but a lot depends on winning, or at least some prior nba experience. right now he isnt a safe enough choice for morey, although a big run in the tournament may change that.

    kevin ollie - like lue, earned a lot of praise around the nba for his game and player management, and hiring him would be seen in nba circles and in the media as a solid move. safe choice for morey, one of the more notable names on the market for les, the style fits, and durant praised ollie for making a huge difference for him, westbrook, and harden in their one year together. he can be the KD recruiter that morey wants, and he could also help keep harden from leaving as a free agent.

    sean miller - big program, believes in analytics, upgrade in management and strategy. i think he's one of the best fits on the market. may not be a big enough name for les, and hiring a college coach with no nba experience or nba ties might be too risky for morey.

    larry krystkowiak - like dana altman, he still needs to prove he can win big, but i have him on the list because he's more well balanced on both ends than altman, and has nba experience as a coach and player which make it easier for him to make the jump (and safer for morey). he'll need to win big this year though.

    here are the best 'out of the box' options i could think of:
    1. shane battier - knows adelman's offense, JVGs defense, spoelstra's 'positionless' offense and switching defense. always known to be able to galvanize a locker room. does he even want to coach? even if he did, might be too risky of a play for morey.
    2. kenny smith - most notably played for dean smith, bill russell, and of course won championships with rudy t. i think he's been able to express a strong knowledge of the game as an analyst, and would also be skilled as a locker room motivator. like battier, does he want to coach? and even if he did, he would probably be too risky of a hire for morey.

    (the market will change depending on performance and availability of these coaches, but as of today i think this is how les and morey, not i, would rank the field)
    after an extensive look at the market, these 11 seem like the most likely names to come up: thibs, hollins, brooks, messina, boylen, lue, walton, mcmillan, ollie, miller, krystkowiak.

    tier 1 - serious contenders

    lue - the more i think about it, the more it feels like the safest choice for morey. the whole nba world will praise whoever hires this guy. its zero risk. and the positives are that we know he’s already good at game and player management. there is potential for him to build a nice offense from his experience with phil and blatt.

    brooks - fits what les and morey want too damn well for my liking. the only knock i can think of is that this will be seen as an obvious recruiting hire rather than a coaching hire. i’m not sure morey is in a position to take on any criticism of this next move. but he and les might feel the pros outweigh the cons.

    hollins - we know there was mutual interest at the beginning of last season, and so that puts him firmly in tier 1. however that was for the lead assistant role. will morey want him as a head coach? i assume if hollins is willing to open up his offense he would be highly considered. if not, i bet morey goes after him again as the lead assistant.

    tier 2 - dark horses

    thibs, messina, and boylen - i think they will be seen by morey as undervaluing his input from analytics. i think les will not want their style of play. they would be asked to adjust and i dont think these guys are the type to go for that, and therefor stand much less of a chance of serious consideration. however, they are probably the best coaches on the market, and all safe choices for morey.

    tier 3 - long shots

    mcmillan - low risk / low reward. was an average head coach, but there is a good chance he learned a lot under vogel. still, unexciting name for les, no recruiting power for morey... but the pacers new style is what they want, and he brings defense, solid but not all that exciting of a choice.

    walton - high risk/high reward. he hasn’t even been an assistant coach for 2 years. sure he’s been groomed by phil and now a kerr but he really is only holding the wheel straight when it was kerr the built the car. and he’s got long time awesome coach ron adams in the passenger seat with one hand on the wheel anyway. maybe he brings that phil/kerr system here and we have a beautiful offense. maybe too risky for morey, maybe phoenix pounces on him before we get the chance.

    miller, ollie, and krystkowiak - so much depends on their success in the tournament this year. for all of ollie’s strengths, he won the national championship, but then failed to make the tournament the next year. this year will be telling for him. and while miller seems like a great fit, and has been to 4 elite eight’s, it would be more convincing to see him win big (final 4 or better) before making the jump to the nba. krystkowiak seems like a great fit too, and has nba experience (unlike miller), but has only 1 sweet 16 under his belt as a coach. he, too, will need to win big this year to have a chance.

    ps, sorry i couldn't add fancy videos and articles without making this post overly massive, but you all know how to use google and youtube.
    #1 smoothie, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
    46 people like this.
  2. krmclaughlin

    krmclaughlin Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Great post. Personally I'm most intrigued by Thibs and Boylen based on their experience, track records, and defensive focus. They are certainly different styles than what the front office is used to, so I hope that egos don't prevent them from getting serious consideration.
  3. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
    Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    Likes Received:
    This is the most impressive post in all my time on this BBS. Thank you so much smoothie. What a fantastic piece of work, I wish I could buy you a beer or something.
  4. Liberon

    Liberon Rookie

    Nov 10, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Brooks is terrible. He did not coach but was carried by the talent of Durant and Westbrook for years. It should Thibs or Hollins.
  5. DJ

    DJ Member

    Jun 12, 2000
    Likes Received:
    smoothie, I appreciated this post. It was well written , insightful and many great ideas. I like Hollins, Walton, Shane Battier as options
  6. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

    Oct 27, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Thx for the post. Will definitely read this again.

    One comment regarding "Les likes big name hires" is that this will be the first time Les is paying two coaches. At $5m/yr, unless McHale gets another job and there is a salry "offset clause" in his contract, $$ might be a factor with this next hire.

    Thus, if salary is an issue, maybe this will be a hire whereby Les goes for an NBA asst coach, for once. (For instance, ATL got Budenholzer for $2m/yr.) Also, this reason could work strongly in JBB's favor. (note: a lot of NCAA coaches make serious money. So, those likely won't be cheap hires.) For instance, Stevens makes $3.6m, Hoiberg makes $5m and Donovan makes $6m.
    #6 heypartner, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  7. Codman

    Codman Contributing Member

    Jun 24, 2001
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    Awesome post!

    I still believe that going with JB for the rest of the season was the correct move.

    If we brought in someone completely unfamiliar with our players, they would need the rest of the season just to start a decent coach-player/coach-team relationship.

    JB may not be everyone's first choice, but he has the respect of the players, is well aware of their positive and negative tendencies and wants to help the same core return back to form. He's been in the trenches with us, and I think he was well-deserving of the opportunity. However, I'm not thrilled that he "learned" from Kevin McHale, and you can see that he's still working on NOT following the same errors.

    I like the underdog suggestion of Lue, but I wonder if Les will go after someone proven or someone with a "big name," if this season turns out to be a complete bust.

    I would be devastated if Scott Brooks became our next coach, even if it meant a better chance of signing EasyMoneySniper #35. Although James and KD respect him, Brooks had some of the same issues Kevin had during his time in OKC. I don't think he could contain James' developing ego, along with a talent in Durant. The year that OKC made it to the finals was not surprising. With that talent, I think we all expected it.

    However, those playoffs and the championship series against Miami exposed Brooks' major flaws as a coach.

    If you're a fan who wants the entire culture changed on our team, I think you have to go with someone with a completely different personality and approach to the game.

    If you're a fan who thinks Kevin McHale's style was a good route, Brooks could be your guy.
  8. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

    Oct 27, 1999
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    The answer may lie in the question: Will Les go for another "big name" coach and pay over $10m/yr in coaching salaries, since McHale is still on the books for $5m.

    My post in November The Salary Implications of Waiving McHale was not a complete BimaThug parody post.

    I don't see Le$ paying two big names at the same time. But for sure, we are in uncharted territory this time with regards to Le$ having two salaries to pay.
  9. OTMax

    OTMax Member

    Mar 29, 2013
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    I fear Scott Brooks has the highest chance..
  10. Codman

    Codman Contributing Member

    Jun 24, 2001
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    Good point. I think the way the season ends will dictate his thinking. You can tell he wasn't happy with the product on the floor. If JB can't clean it up to the point of us being competitive in the playoffs, I think Les will pay for a name.
  11. xiki

    xiki Contributing Member

    Jun 18, 2002
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    Define: 'competitive in the playoffs'.

    KMc lost in the WCFs; can this squad get out of the 1st round? Heck, can they get into the p/o's?
  12. Codman

    Codman Contributing Member

    Jun 24, 2001
    Likes Received:
    True, the definition of "competitive" is subjective. I honestly don't know what this current roster can do.

    It seems like James, Dwight and the rest of our guys step things up when we're playing good teams. So, can we beat some of the contenders? Yes.

    I hate how we play down to the likes of the Nuggets, Kings, etc...

    I believe we'll make the playoffs, and I think we're due for a run. With all of the turmoil, I'm predicting us to be the 5th seed with a strong end to the season.

    At this point, home court advantage means nothing to us unfortunately.

    This season feels like it's in slow-motion. We're right in the the thick of things, but some guys are playing like we're already tanking.
  13. Fantasma Negro

    Jun 23, 2011
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    I keep forgetting how this teams demise began with the departure of Sampson. Harden loved him, all the guys respect him, hell why not
  14. Mkieke

    Mkieke Member

    Feb 16, 2010
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    Sampson wasn't here for a second of the WCF Season. Don't think we can blame his departure for any of our current shortcomings.
  15. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

    Aug 1, 2001
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    Amazing post. 100 stars.

    Thibs is the choice here. Even if the Morey/Thibs relationship might be straigned. And even if the pace/tempo is slowed down.

    Thibs brings defense AND most importantly Harden has respect for Thibs and getting Harden to play optimally is the number 1 task to winning it all.
    1 person likes this.
  16. Newlin

    Newlin Member

    May 22, 2015
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    Who does Durant want to play for? That's all Morey wants to know.
  17. beardsanity713

    Oct 5, 2013
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    A combination of Tibs Lue & Walton would fix alot
  18. Codman

    Codman Contributing Member

    Jun 24, 2001
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    Walton might agree to an assistant coaching position.

    Lue wants to be a head coach sometime soon.
  19. ISOBall

    ISOBall Member

    Nov 17, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Rep this man. Greatest post I've ever seen
  20. smoothie

    smoothie Jabari Jungle

    Mar 1, 2001
    Likes Received:
    great point about the price! les has never done this before so we cant be sure if he'll pay full price for the next coach or not. my guess is, since he's never paid twice before, he will be adverse to paying top dollar now.

    this wouldn't affect our top 11 as much as expected. the lowest paid nba head coach makes $2M, and there are 5 of them at that salary. with that as a starting point, we can see which of our options might be priced out of our budget... starting with the college coaches since you mentioned how expensive they can be:

    current salary
    sean miller makes $3.5M
    kevin ollie makes $1.3M
    larry krystowiak makes $1.6M.

    only sean miller would balk at a $2M offer to lead the rockets from this list.

    as for the assistant coaches, lue is due to make $1.75M next year. his contract made him the highest paid assistant of all time. i think lue, boylen, walton, messina, and mcmillan could all be had for around $2M as well.

    however, it could affect our chances at hollins, thibs, and brooks, but only if they have a larger offer from another team. if its between being a head coach and not working next year, i think they take the $2M.

    lastly, i think its important to note that mchale's contact is up at the end of next season. this means that les will only be paying double for 1 year. a clever contract negotiator such as morey should be able to come up with a plan of a deferred payment. we could offer the next coach 3yr/$15M but have the payout be $2M in year 1 while mchale is still getting paid, then $6.5M for year 2 and 3.

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