We are right around the midway point of the shortened 2020-21 NBA season and after the Minnesota Timberwolves became the first team to make a coaching change by ousting Ryan Saunders, Sacramento Kings bench boss Luke Walton now holds the shortest odds at +250 to be the next NBA coach to be fired.
The Kings have the worst scoring defense in the Association and online sportsbook BetOnline has listed Walton as the favorite in the next NBA coach to be fired odds. He is followed closely by the Detroit Pistons’ Dwane Casey at +275, the Washington Wizards’ Scott Brooks at +300, the Orlando Magic’s Steve Clifford at +400 and the Atlanta Hawks’ Lloyd Pierce at +750 to round out the top five coaches on the hot seat.
Looking at the next NBA coach to be fired odds, our sports betting calculator tells us that Walton’s odds of +250 have an implied probability of 28.57 percent and a $100 bet on a Walton firing would profit you $250.
Who Will be the Next NBA Coach to be Fired?
|Stan Van Gundy||+3300|
Odds as of February 24 at BetOnline
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Why is Walton the favorite in the next NBA coach to be fired odds?
Perhaps his 39-4 run with the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors, the team that holds the record for most wins in a single season, was not a result of Walton’s coaching but rather a reflection of just how good that team was. At the time, he was just filling in as an interim coach while Steve Kerr was sidelined after back surgery.
Walton parlayed that tremendous run into the head coaching job with the Los Angeles Lakers the following season, joining the team he spent much of his playing career with. It was tough sledding in LA as the Lakers put together three straight losing seasons and failed to make the playoffs, even with LeBron James in town for the 2018-19 season.
Ultimately, Walton left for Sacramento following a dismal 98-148 run with the Lakers, who finished in the bottom third of the league in points against in all three seasons he coached.
Walton with the Kings
Heading into the 2019-20 campaign, Sacramento looked to be getting stronger with young talents in Marvin Bagley and De’Aaron Fox surrounded by more experienced players such as Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes.
On paper, it appeared the team could definitely contend for a playoff spot after finishing ninth in the Western Conference the previous year with a 39-43 record. Instead, the Kings regressed, finishing 31-41 and missing the playoffs once again while having the second-worst offense in the West.
Meanwhile, Walton and starting guard Buddy Hield have had a tense relationship that doesn’t look to be getting better any time soon.
So far in the 2020-21 season, the Kings have the third-worst record in the West, sit 4.5 games back of the final playoff spot and are allowing the most points per game in the NBA. All these signs paint a clear picture of why Luke Walton is the favorite in the next NBA coach to be fired odds.
Is there better value than Walton in the next NBA coach to be fired odds?
Of course, it makes sense for Dwane Casey to be second on the oddsboard with the lowly Pistons, though that team has a pile of issues that I’m not sure are Casey’s fault. One bright spot is the team defense, an area Casey emphasizes, and because of the team’s strength in that part of the game, I don’t believe he’s that close to being fired.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks may have saved his bacon with his recent five-game winning streak, knocking off the likes of Boston, Denver and the Lakers. So for me, the fifth man on the list, Lloyd Pierce of the Hawks at +750, is providing good value.
Atlanta has been rebuilding for a few years now and appears to have the pieces in place to be a playoff team with the likes of Trae Young, John Collins, Clint Capela and Rajon Rondo. At this point, though, the Hawks are 13-18, on the outside looking in, and are in the bottom third in points against per game.
Injuries have played a factor in the team’s fortunes this season but the bigger issue appears to be the relationship between Pierce and star point guard Trae Young, as well as between Young and Collins. If the squad doesn’t jell and Pierce is unable to get them playing at the level they appear capable of on paper, failing to be in playoff contention would surely seal his fate.
Outside of Walton, I think the pressure is the greatest for Lloyd Pierce right now and he’s my value pick at +750 in the next NBA coach to be fired odds.