Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan told SI.com he pulled out the running for the Charlotte Bobcats head coaching job. He was believed to be one of the finalists to replace Paul Silas after he was let go in late April.
There are other coaching jobs that would be more attractive to Sloan. The Portland Trail Blazers and Orlando Magic are both looking for coaches this off-season. Could he be the lead coaching candidate for either of the teams or does he just not want the headache of trying to coach a team with the least amount of talent in the league? I would assume that it is a little of both.
Charlotte has a few other coaching candidates. If they would have been able to hire Sloan, it would have been a mandate that the front office is doing everything they can to turn the franchise around. Since Sloan is out of the question, which two young coaches does Michael Jordan have his eye on?
Charlotte’s open head coaching job will most likely be filled by someone without head coaching experience. The two lead candidates are Brian Shaw, who was an assistant under Phil Jackson with the Los Angeles Lakers and most recently the associate coach of the Indiana Pacers, and Quin Snyder, former University of Missouri Tigers coach and most recently an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Shaw missed out on the vacant Los Angeles Lakers coaching job last offseason when he was leapfrogged by Mike Brown. He licked his wounds and took an assistant job with Indiana last offseason. Indiana was one of the most improved teams in the NBA, further helping Shaw’s coaching stock. He is also a candidate for the vacant coaching jobs in Portland and Orlando. He is rumored to prefer either of those jobs over Charlotte. His #1 destination would be Portland, even though he has ties to the Orlando area since he once played for the Magic.
The biggest surprise is the emergence of Quin Snyder as a coaching candidate. He has only been an assistant with the Lakers for one season, but Kobe Bryant has been outspoken about Snyder’s coaching ability. Jordan is been rumored to be impressed that he has impressed Bryant so fast. Snyder has experience coaching at the NCAA level (Mizzou), NBA D-League (Austin Toros), and two seasons as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers and Lakers.
Shaw could be viewing the Charlotte job as a dead-end. If he doesn’t get either the Portland or Orlando job, he has a lot going for him in Indiana. The Pacers will be good again next season and his name will be at the top of the list for coaching vacancies next offseason.
My educated guess is that Charlotte hires Snyder to be its next coach. He is young and energetic, which will keep the young talent from getting discouraged through the long rebuilding process the team will endure. It is the perfect job for a guy to cut his teeth coaching at the NBA level.
It is unknown if Charlotte plans to hire a new coach before the NBA Draft later this month. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andre Drummond, and Thomas Robinson are the three favorites to be picked at #2 if the Bobcats keep the pick. Although, Charlotte doesn’t see the value of picking either Kidd-Gilchrist, Drummond, or Robinson with the second pick. They could move the pick for a player and a mid-round first round pick and/or a 2012 first round pick.
Whomever is hired as Charlotte’s next coach will be given a minimum of three years to improve the team. The organization realizes they have dug a pretty deep hole for themselves. There are no fast and easy fixes for the team, so expect the same from them in 2012-13.