The NBA coaching carousel has been chugging merrily along this season, with the Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies having already made midseason changes by dismissing their head coach.
Phoenix dumped Earl Watson three games into the season. The Grizzlies ousted an otherwise beloved David Fizdale amid a brutal losing streak combined with rumors of discord between him and franchise center Marc Gasol. The Bucks, meanwhile, parted ways with Jason Kidd following a highly underwhelming stretch of the season that was supposed to see Milwaukee establish themselves as a legit challenger in the East.
Interim coach Joe Prunty hasn’t fared much better in Kidd’s stead, so it appears the organization is already compiling a list of possible candidates to fill the position this summer, and there are several familiar names reportedly headlining that group. Most notably among those are a pair of popular current NBA analysts and former head coaches in Jeff Van Gundy and Kevin McHale.
Marc Stein of The New York Times dropped those nuggets and more on the upcoming coaches carousel in his latest newsletter, highlighting how it appears the Bucks will be looking to make a splash by hiring a big name this summer.
Current TV analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Kevin McHale, league sources say, are among the marquee names that can already be found on the Bucks’ list of candidates. The former New Orleans coach Monty Williams and Fizdale have also been mentioned as likely candidates — and word is that even former Louisville coach Rick Pitino could get an exploratory look here.
McHale’s last coaching gig with the Rockets ended rather abruptly in 2015 when Houston fired him just eight games into the regular season, while Van Gundy recently returned to coach USA Basketball in qualifying rounds after more than a decade away from the bench.
The other names on this list could also find opportunities elsewhere as turnover in the coaching ranks is likely to ramp up this NBA offseason after a rare summer when no coaches lost their jobs in 2017.