- Sportsbooks are beginning to post betting markets on possible candidates for NBA coaching vacancies.
- Boston, Orlando and Portland all have open head coaching jobs.
- The biggest issue for most teams is finding a viable head coach with so few in the market with previous NBA coaching experience.
Several interesting NBA futures betting markets posted at BetOnline.ag for the next head coach of the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic and Portland Trailblazers. We’ll take a look at the betting odds for all three teams and consider some of the possibilities starting with the Boston Celtics.
Typically, a head coach is fired out of frustration–or desperation–after multiple losing seasons. That’s definitely not the case here and the best place to start a handicap of these NBA coaching prop bets is to understand the situation with each team that led to a vacancy. Look for subsequent articles this week with deep dive handicapping analyses as we try to come up with some value positions.
The Boston Celtics had a forgettable .500 season in 2020-2021 but weren’t even thinking that they would have to be filling a coaching vacancy in the offseason. Former Butler University head coach Brad Stevens took over the team in 2013-2014 with the Celtics at a serious nadir in their legendary history and turn the franchise around. Boston went from 25-57 in Stevens’ first year and reached the playoffs in year two. They haven’t finished below .500–or missed the postseason–ever since making three Eastern Conference Finals appearances in the process.
When longtime Celtics President Danny Ainge decided to retire on June 2 it set the events in motion that have resulted in the vacancy. Ainge said that the pandemic made the job ‘less fun’ and that his instincts told him it was time to move on. Boston didn’t have to look far to fill Ainge’s vacancy and Brad Stevens was announced as the new President of Basketball operations. Sources described Stevens as ‘worn down’ by the demands of coaching and the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and excited to make the move. Stevens sounds revitalized–as Ainge said ‘He was born for this’.
BOSTON CELTICS NEXT HEAD COACH
Kara Lawson +300 Scott Morrison +400 Jay Larranaga +450 Jason Kidd +550 Chauncy Billups +600 Ime Udoka +750 Lloyd Pierce +750 Sam Cassell +750 Jerome Allen +1250 Becky Hammon +1400
There’s growing talk that Boston could make history with their hire by naming former Celtics assistant and current Duke University women’s basketball coach Kara Lawson as their next head coach. Lawson could be uniquely qualified to be the first female head coach in NBA history–here’s what former Celtics’ player Brian Scalabrine says about her:
“She’s insanely good as a coach. It’s not one of those things where ‘she’s good for a female.’ No, she walked into practice and she commanded practice right from the jump. She was giving people tips and people’s jaws were dropping. She’s elite at what she does. … I thought she was head coaching material within five minutes talking with her.”
Becky Hammon is also on the list–she’s been an assistant under Greg Popovich in San Antonio for seven years but there’s some opinion that she wouldn’t want to leave her current position. There’s also a slew of Celtics assistants, assistant coaches with other teams and perpetual candidate Jason Kidd. Jay Larranaga, Chauncy Billups and Scott Morrison are all highly regarded within the Boston organization but the thinking is that Lawson will be offered the job. It’s a tough challenge for a basketball coach and might be an even tougher challenge as the first female to hold that job in the NBA.
The other theory about the Celtics thinking–and perhaps their most viable strategy should Lawson not get hired for whatever reason–is a well established former head coach. Mike D’Antoni is probably the best fit there. He’s been the head guy in Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles and Houston and was twice named NBA Coach of the Year. There’s also a question of whether he’d want the job–at 70 years old and with a valued role as a Brooklyn Nets assistant he may not want to jump back into the head coaching pressure cooker.