Peachtree Hoops has a full list of likely people to be considered for the Hawks vacant Head Coaching Position. While I am not going to recite their entire list I want to highlight a few of the candidates that I would like or think will get serious consideration.
Sam Mitchell – The former Toronto Raptors coach has been unemployed since being let go by the Raptors in 2008. He lives in Atlanta and is a logical choice to be considered. He is also a former coach that might not command a large salary. However, I am going to be against this hiring as I will site Mitchell as Woodson version 2.0. They are essentially the same person and coach. Often those Toronto teams lacked in offensive and defensive schemes and Mitchell was over reliant on veterans. Whether I like it or not I am afraid that he will get a strong consideration for the job.
Byron Scott – Scott would be my favorite if not for all of the things that were said about him right after he was let go from the Hornets. Stories about delaying team flights so he could finish a golf round and never really preparing his team for upcoming opponents. David West appeared to take issue with him and Chris Paul essentially danced all around the subject. Still this is a guy that has been to the NBA finals. I probably wouldn’t complain if we hired him but I don’t think we would pay what it will take.
Maurice Cheeks – I admit I had forgotten about Mo Cheeks until I read the Peachtree Hoops article. Again siting that article I don’t want to hire anyone that is not an adept X’s and O’s person. I do think that Cheeks would probably come cheaper than some of the other candidates with coaching experience.
Lawrence Frank – Ok I could get real serious here. Frank is the anti Woodson. He has been accused in the past of throwing too many different things at his team both offensively and defensively. He finally flamed out in New Jersey and was mercifully fired during their rough start this season. I don’t know what it would cost to sign him but I probably wouldn’t be too upset in the short term.
Terry Porter – Was last seen as head coach of the Phoenix Suns. He tried to take that team from it seven seconds or less days and make them a more defensive minded unit. The style clashed so bad with Steve Nash he was let go halfway through his first season. Porter is another guy that I feel would fit the mold because the Hawks really have no identity the way the Suns did. He would essentially be taking a veteran team and molding them in his image.
Avery Johnson – This is probably the most High Profile guy out there and probably the best fit. I think he would bring everything that Hawks fans have been looking for, but he wants lots of money and lots of years on a contract. That isn’t happening in Atlanta.
Mark Jackson – Jackson has been rumored heavily for the last two seasons as a coach. He has zero experience and really is an unknown commodity. It would be a high profile higher if the Hawks chose to go in this direction. The problem is with the unknown. I also don’t know what kind of money Jackson would be looking for but it would have to be reasonable given his lack of experience. If I were him and looking at getting into coaching then the Hawks would be a perfect situation to jump in to.
Tom Thibodeau – Current Celtics top assistant. He is getting rumored all around and has the reputation as a great X’s and O’s man. As with anyone though without head coaching experience you really don’t know what you are getting.
Monty Williams – Portland assistant that is a hot name, again no head coaching experience
Ty Corbin – Has ties to the Hawks as a former player and he currently is learning his trade as an assistant to Jerry Sloan in Utah. Sloan runs one of the most designed systems in the NBA in my opinion. They just plug players into it. I would say he is at least a possibility given his Hawks ties.
Dwane Casey – Casey is an interesting candidate. He is a current assistant of the Mavericks and a former head coach of the Timberwolves. He also interviewed for the job at the time it was given to Mike Woodson. He has been around the block and I think will be a strong candidate this time around.
Mike Fratello – If you follow me on Twitter then you know of my fascination with Hubie Brown. Well Brown is too old to leave the announcer table to take a head coaching job again. Well Fratello coached under Brown many years ago and made his name as the coach of the Atlanta Hawks during the Dominique Wilkins era. He later had success with Cleveland. I like Fratello for many reasons and think that he could do an excellent job with this team. However, I am not sure how much money it would take to get him to leave broadcasting to return to the sidelines.
I am sure there will be other names surface as this search goes on. Noticeably absent from my list is Jeff Van Gundy. I don’t see him here as he will be looking for money and a long contract but I also think that the ownership situation might scare him off. I really think he enjoys being a broadcaster and don’t think he will move back to coaching anytime soon.
Is there anyone that I missed or should have mentioned. If so please leave it in the comments section so that we can discuss it.