Toronto, Milwaukee, Orlando, Detroit.
Those are the final 4 jobs left to fill in the NBA; assuming Golden State, Houston, Cleveland, or Boston don’t fire their coaches.
Of those four jobs, Toronto is head and shoulders the best job available to potential coaching hires, but what about Detroit? Here’s The Mayor’s breakdown of each job, in order of most attractive to least.
- Toronto Raptors – 2018 Record: 59-23 (Lost in Semis to Cleveland)
- Milwaukee Bucks – 2018 Record: 44-38 (Lost in Round 1 to Boston)
- Orlando Magic – 2018 Record: 25-57 (18 games behind 8th seed)
- Detroit Pistons – 2018 Record: 39-43 (4 games behind 8th seed)
Why Toronto is the best: They’re loaded with talent, and just couldn’t get over the Cleveland hump. It’s a similar growing pain that the Pistons had with Boston, and Chicago had with Detroit. The window is closing fast though.
Why Toronto isn’t: They’ve consistently underachieved. Whether that is Dewayne Casey or the roster is yet to be seen, but it is a stigma that Demar Derozan and Co. will need to face.
Why Milwaukee is the best: They’re up and coming. Giannis, Malcom Brodgon, Khris Middleton, and the cast assembled for the Bucks is incredibly talented and they’re still young. They’re a playoff team, and anything can happen in the East.
Why Milwaukee isn’t: They’re still young, and anything can happen in the East. They’ve already been leapfrogged by Philly in terms of talent, and don’t have the cap space to add much in the way of a top-tier player to get them to the next level.
Why Orlando is the best: They’re in that top 5 of the “worst” teams in the NBA, meaning that they have a great shot at landing DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, Mo Bamba, or Trae Young. Any one of those players immediately helps them compete. It also makes it an attractive job, given the youth and talent level.
Why Orlando isn’t: Orlando has constantly underachieved since Shaq left. They always seem to have talent that can make some noise, but never actually does. They gave up on Victor Oladipo who turned into a superstar, and going further back Ben Wallace, and couldn’t do much with Tracy McGrady and Dwight Howard. Any coach coming here either needs the reins in the front office, or someone they completely trust shopping for the groceries.
Why Detroit is the best: They’re just not. Sorry. They’re $16 million over the cap with 12 players signed. They were a sub-.500 team that missed the playoffs, and don’t have their first-round pick to show for it. They gave up on Avery Bradley and company too fast, in order to acquire Blake Griffin and his albatross of a contract. Because of his deal, and needing to pay Andre Drummond AND Reggie Jackson, they have zero money to get them help. You’re simply not moving Griffin, and this team absolutely cannot give up Drummond. Jackson could be the tool to move away from cap hell, but who’s taking on that deal with his injury issues the past few seasons?
Why Detroit isn’t: See above. They’re way over the cap, they can’t add first round talent unless they trade off assets they don’t have, and they don’t have the cash to go sign a free agent. They’re handcuffed, and there’s nothing up anyone’s sleeve that can fix that until those contracts expire. I don’t know if there is a mad cap scientist out there that can turn this team into a winner quickly from the pool of available GMs; and they’re not exactly a high-profile coaching destination. Either way, they need a coach who can maximize the Jackson/Drummond/Griffin big 3.