Sam Amick, in his story on the Byron Scott situation, offers up the most current list of potential coaching candidates culled from his sources.
* Eddie Jordan. Of course.
* Bernie Bickerstaff, who hasn't been successful on paper but has earned a lot of respect around the league.
* Lon Kruger, unsuccessful in 2-1/2 years in Atlanta but respected as a teacher.
* Rick Pitino. (Pick up your jaw.)
* Paul Westphal.
By the way, killer analyst Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus -- a former Sonics employee and Seattle native -- checked in with his perspective on Westphal a couple weeks ago. You need to read it.
Westphal took over in a tough spot at the end of the Sonics’ run, and I give him credit for his willingness to play young players and develop Rashard Lewis. Still, he hastened the end of the team’s run with his mismanagement. He inexplicably started Billy Owens (picked up, along with Olden Polynice, from the Kings — I’m sure I don’t have to tell you guys) over first Hersey Hawkins — who had started all 82 games the previous five seasons and never come off the bench in his life — and then Detlef Schrempf. Not only was Owens terrible and out of shape, it was a slap in the face to the team’s veterans.
Westphal also did poorly in terms of managing the team’s stars. Again, not an easy task, but he tried to coddle Gary Payton (who did not respect him at all) and went tough on Vin Baker (who crumbled mentally). By the time he was fired at the start of the 2000-01 season, there was little question he had lost the team.
I think Westphal has a pretty good eye for talent and is handy to have in a front office, but you don’t want him as your head coach.
HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler confirms the team's interest in Jordan, Bickerstaff and Kruger, and adds Tom Thibodeau (who doesn't meet the "head coaching experience" criterion Petrie has publicly stated.
There's no mention of Avery Johnson anywhere, nor does the latest round mention Mike Fratello or Jeff Van Gundy.