We’ve finally reached 2016, which means the rumour mill in the NBA is going to start to heat up big time.
With one coach already losing his job this year, and with plenty more teams underachieving, it would be surprising to not see that number rise by the end of the year.
So which jobs out there are, both fairly and unfairly, on the line? Which coaches are in trouble?
Everyone expected big things out of Washington this season after two previous seasons in which they had exceeded all expectations by making the conference semi-finals.
However, right now, they linger in 11th spot in a competitive Eastern Conference.
There is no question Wittman has done a great job with these Wizards. But it may be his lack of playoff experience – only two trips in the past two years in his nine seasons of head coaching – that may see him removed for a more experienced candidate.
Last year was the first season since 2002 that George Karl had failed to qualify for the playoffs. This year looks to be the first season ever in which he has failed to make the playoffs two years in a row in 30+ years of NBA head coaching.
Sometimes, great head coaches just do not fit in the role they are given. This may be the case with the Karl-led Sacramento Kings.
Constant chemistry issues with DeMarcus Cousins in an ultra-competitive Western Conference means that Sacramento are languishing in 10th, when perhaps they should be a bit higher.
Jeff Hornacek impressed in his first year as head coach of Phoenix, almost managing to drag his Suns to the playoffs.
Unfortunately, ever since, he has not had quite the same success.
Granted the constant team re-shuffling means he should be given some extra rope – he certainly does not deserve to lose his job – but in such a results-driven business, and with Phoenix fans baying for blood, they may get just that.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been through four head coaches since the start of 2012, and few would be surprised to see another given the efforts of Byron Scott thus far.
His 28-88 record as head coach of the Lakers is the kind of record that gets you fired in La La Land. Being a former showtime Laker himself may help his cause, but ultimately, with Kobe Bryant retiring at the end of the year, the writing may already be on the wall.
The fact that former interim Bernie Bickerstaff (4-1) is the most successful Laker coach since 2012 says it all about the recent state of the team.