As it stands now, six NBA teams (Bucks, Bobcats, Nets, Pistons, Sixers, Suns) have head coaching vacancies still unfilled.
However, with the futures of Vinny Del Negro (Clippers), Larry Drew (Hawks), Keith Smart (Kings), Dwane Casey (Raptors) and Rick Adelman (Timberwolves) still unknown, the coaching carousel could potentially balloon to a party of 11.
Take it for what it’s worth, but according to ESPN.com’s NBA Insider Chris Broussard, among the GMs looking to hire a head coach, Ryan McDonough might have one of the tougher times nabbing a top-notch candidate.
With the help of an unnamed NBA assistant coach, Broussard ranked (ESPN Insider content) the 11 hypothetical openings based on desirability with the Suns coming in at No. 8.
And outside of a little praise for the Phoenix market and the training staff, the unnamed assistant coach was brutally honest when it came to the potential pitfalls that could come with being the next head coach of the Suns.
“The obvious positives are that it’s a good city and you can attract players. They’ve got a good reputation with their training staff, and there are no expectations on them. But the bad stuff is that they have a crazy owner. He’s aloof, and you really don’t know what you’re really dealing with. I don’t believe they’re in their process yet either. They’re starting over again. They tried to build when they went after Eric Gordon, but he couldn’t come, so they had to start that over. They took a leap on [Michael] Beasley’s talent, but he’s not in their plans. They brought in an interim guy in Lindsey Hunter, and even the little bit that he built is going to be gone. So as the new coach, you’re going to have to undo some stuff. You’ve got a bad roster with pieces and parts that don’t fit.
“Marcin Gortat makes sense. The twins [Marcus and Markieff Morris] are both good players, but they’re probably not difference-makers. I like Goran Dragic, but he’s probably a middle-of-the-road starter. He’s a good player, but he’s obviously not in the elite class. He can’t be your Man. They don’t have an identity yet. You could spin it like, ‘They don’t have an identity, but I can build an identity.’ That’s your ego talking, because building on some of the stuff they have would be kind of scary. If I’m an established head coach, I wouldn’t want any part of that.”
Of those rumored to be on McDonough’s short list — Brian Shaw, Mike Budenholzer, Kelvin Sampson and Quin Snyder — none have ever had head coaching experience in the NBA.