Brown takes over Pistons; Silas to head Cavs

Posted: Tuesday, June 03, 2003

There are still plenty of NBA coaching jobs out there, and plenty of unemployed former coaches to fill them.

With Larry Brown taking over the Detroit Pistons and Paul Silas going to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, the list of coaching vacancies dropped to five.

The New Orleans Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets still have openings, and former coaches Mike Fratello, Mike Dunleavy and Jeff Van Gundy are among the candidates who have interviewed for several of those jobs but have not yet been hired.

Additionally, Rick Carlisle came onto the market unexpectedly over the weekend after the Pistons fired him to make way for Brown.

''Rick will be a head coach on somebody's bench next year,'' Pistons president Joe Dumars said Monday.

Carlisle said he planned to speak to three teams this week while attending the NBA predraft camp in Chicago. He would not identify the teams.

Fratello on Monday pulled himself out of the running for the Hornets job, declining through a spokesman for Turner Sports to elaborate. Tim Floyd and Brian Hill are among the Hornets' candidates.

Both Fratello and Dunleavy have expressed an eagerness to return to the sideline, while Van Gundy has said it's a 50-50 proposition whether he'll return as a coach next season or continue to work as a television broadcaster.

Another factor that could further unsettle the leaguewide picture is Maurice Cheeks' status with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Philadelphia was denied permission to speak to Cheeks about its coaching vacancy, but some in the Sixers organization believe the Trail Blazers would rather have Carlisle as their coach. Cheeks has one year remaining, plus a team option, on his contract with Portland.

''A lot of stuff is happening. If Mo can get out of his deal in Portland, and ends up in Philly, he may end of keeping some of (Brown's former) staff,'' Dumars said. ''There's so many domino effects going on.''

The coaching situations with the Los Angeles Clippers and Atlanta Hawks are somewhat fuzzy.

Dennis Johnson was named interim coach of the Clippers after Alvin Gentry was fired in midseason, and it is unknown whether the team plans to bring him back next season. Johnson and his staff are attending the predraft camp with Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor.

In Atlanta, Terry Stotts is still the head coach and is representing the team at the predraft camp, but the Hawks are in the process of being sold leading to speculation that new owner David McDavid might want to bring in Dunleavy, whom he has known for years.

Dunleavy and Van Gundy remain the top two candidates in Houston, with the Rockets expected to make their decision by the end of the week.

In Toronto, the candidates include Pistons assistant Kevin O'Neill, Seattle assistant Dwane Casey, Philadelphia assistant Mike Woodson, Milwaukee assistant Sam Mitchell, Dallas assistant Sidney Moncrief and Washington assistant Brian James.

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