Change In The Nation’s Capital: Washington Wizards’ Next Coach Odds

Wizards Need To Get This Hiring Right

To say that the last couple of years have been difficult for the Washington Wizards would be a major understatement. They have made the NBA playoffs just once in the last six seasons and haven’t won 40 games in any season since the 2017-18 campaign.

So, halfway through this past season when Washington was 7-36, the team made the decision to fire third-year coach Wes Unseld Jr. and replace him with assistant Brian Keefe on an interim basis.

So, as their search for a full-time coach continues, it’s worth checking out the Wizards’ next coach odds.

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Washington went just 8-31 under Keefe but he reportedly gained plaudits and high recommendations from NBA players and others around the organization for him to be hired on a permanent basis.

There are also only two teams that don’t currently have a coach: the Wizards and the Los Angeles Lakers. That means the Wizards won’t necessarily have much competition as they conduct their search and it’s likely that they’ll be looking at much different candidates than Los Angeles based on what the Wizards roster is.

Let’s analyze some of the more popular candidates and see whose current NBA odds provide the best value if you’re thinking about who to bet on who Washington decides to hire:

  • Brian Keefe (+150)

Keefe made a very positive impression on Washington’s decision-makers when he was the interim coach thrust into the head-coaching role during an extremely trying season with a lot stacked against him.

It makes sense why the Wizards’ next coach odds like his chances of getting named the head coach on a multi-year basis. Keefe was an assistant for the Sonics (and then the Thunder on two occasions), Knicks, Lakers and Nets before he was hired as an assistant to Unseld Jr. before this NBA season.

However, before this stint, he was never an interim head coach in the NBA and, in fact, had never held a head-coaching position in his entire career — even going back to his days as a college coach.

That could complicate things if the Wizards want someone with more experience who has actually done the job on a full-time basis before. Still, with all the positive things said about his recently, +150 is solid value.

  • Sam Cassell (+400)

After a really good playing career, Cassell has bounced around as an assistant for the past 15 years with four different organizations.

He has gotten head-coaching interviews in the past and has been linked to the Lakers job this time around as well as various other openings in recent years.

Currently, he’s an assistant with the Celtics on the same staff as Charles Lee, who was just hired by the Charlotte Hornets.

Cassell is well-liked around the league and more than deserves an opportunity to lead his own team. However, this might not be the best spot for him because the Wizards are in the middle of what should become a full-scale rebuild. Cassell doesn’t come from as much of a development background as would be necessary to thrive in this spot.

  • Kenny Atkinson (+500)

One guy that does have a great penchant for player development and leading teams through major rebuilds in Atkinson, currently on Steve Kerr’s staff with the Warriors after a season under Tyronn Lue with the Clippers.

Atkinson could have won NBA coach of the year during his impressive 2018-19 campaign with the Nets but, less than a year, he resigned amid strife with Kyrie Irving and the new-look Brooklyn roster.

Atkinson’s reputation is as a developmental guy who makes players better. He did that in Brooklyn and helped with that in Los Angeles and Golden State.

He probably should have been hired by multiple teams since he left Brooklyn and giving him the reins over a rebuilding Washington group would be a really smart idea for the Wizards. At +500, Atkinson is a great bet.

  • Phil Handy (+600)

The Wizards’ next coach odds are high on Handy, who recently left the Lakers when Frank Vogel was fired after serving as an assistant with them since 2019.

Handy has a lot of LeBron connections and isn’t known as much of a development guy as some of the other options on this list, so he could just be waiting to go wherever LeBron ends up should King James actually change NBA teams.

But, Handy’s name has been mentioned in a lot of coaching searches and his work with players on skills has been lauded by many in the league. It would definitely be an interesting hire, that’s for sure.

  • Chris Quinn (+700)

As far as NBA predictions go, don’t necessarily expect Quinn to get the Wizards job but at +700 and with his resume, stranger things have happened.

He has been one of Erik Spoelstra’s most-trusted assistants since 2014 and he has interviewed for multiple jobs in the past few seasons, including with Washington before the Wizards hired Unseld Jr.

It’s long overdue for Quinn to get a chance to be a head coach assuming that he is fine with leaving the stable and secure culture he has played a large role in perpetuating with the Heat.

The Wizards could probably do a lot worse than hiring Quinn.

For NBA betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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