On Wednesday April 30th, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Mike D’Antoni (who first came to notoriety after his face was used on cans of Pringles) had resigned as head coach. After struggling with injuries — specifically a knee injury that limited Kobe Bryant to just six games this season — the Lakers finished the season with a disappointing 27-55 record.
However with Bryant returning next season, the addition of a top ten draft pick, and enough salary cap space to add a max salary player, the Lakers could turn things around very quickly. But the question remains, who will take the reins as the Lakers next head coach?
Both Sportsbook.com and Bovada have posted their own odds for this prop bet, and there were some major discrepancies. The table below displays the current odds on the Lakers next coach.
|Jeff Van Gundy||+5000||+5000||+3000||+800|
|Stan Van Gundy||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
If you’re fond of flushing money down the toilet, you’ll notice that former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson was previously listed at 100/1 despite recently taking over as the President of the New York Knicks. However, Sportsbook.com was presumably taking zero action on Jackson and he has now been removed from this list.
In fact, over the past month we’ve seen a number of candidates taken off this list for a variety of reasons. Steve Kerr (previously listed at +3,000) took the Golden State Warriors vacant coaching job while Stan Van Gundy (previously +1,500) was hired to be the Detroit Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations. Mark Jackson, who has returned to the ESPN broadcast booth for the remainder of the NBA playoffs, no longer has odds posted at Sportsbook.com.
Earlier last month UConn head coach Kevin Ollie (+300) was listed as the co-favorite alongside former Lakers guard Byron Scott. However, Ollie’s name was taken out of consideration for the job after the following announcement:
— SportsInsights.com (@SportsInsights) May 19, 2014
Which of these candidates has seen their chances improve the most over the past week? Byron Scott moved from +650 to the clear cut favorite at +200. Derek Fisher (whose Oklahoma City Thunder were just recently eliminated from the NBA playoffs) moved from +1,500 to +260 before dropping back +600. Doc Rivers moved from +10,000 to +2,500 following the controversy surrounding Donald Sterling, although with the team’s impending sale to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Rivers job seems quite secure.
Also noteworthy is that after Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Mike Dunleavy Sr. had interviewed with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak about the head coaching vacancy, Dunleavy’s odds to jump from +800 to +400. He has since slid back to +500.
The most recent news on the coaching front is that the Lakers may have interest in Southern Methodist head coach Larry Brown. Although Brown has stated that he is committed to win a national championship at SMU, Brown has moved from +10,000 to +2,500 at Sportsbook.com.
Who do you think will be the Lakers next head coach? Do you think there are any dark horse candidates not listed here? Make sure to leave any questions or comments in the section below.