Is Lakers’ Darvin Ham the top contender to become the next NBA coach to be fired?


Dec 30, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham reacts to call by a referee for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the third quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA coaching carousel has already begun its spin, starting with the surprising firing of Adrian Griffin by the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this week.

As the coaching hot seat heats up, attention has turned to other head coaches in the league, with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Darvin Ham currently standing as the +275 “favorite” according to to be the next coach to receive the pink slip.

The “Next Coach Fired” market offered by the bookmaker includes odds for nine of the 29 remaining NBA teams, including the likes of four-time NBA champion coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors (+1200).

Here are the odds for the next coach to be fired in the NBA:

  • Darvin Ham, Lakers (+275)
  • Steve Clifford, Hornets (+325)
  • Chauncey Billups, Trail Blazers (+400)
  • Wes Unseld Jr., Wizards (+750)
  • Steve Kerr, Warriors (+1200)
  • Taylor Jenkins, Grizzlies (+1600)
  • Billy Donovan, Bulls (+1800)
  • J.B. Bickerstaff, Cavaliers (+3300)

Despite their 30-13 record, leading the Central Division by 3.0 games, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to make a swift coaching change amidst rumors of locker room issues and high expectations following the acquisition of All-Star guard Damian Lillard in the offseason.

This move marked the third-quickest coaching change in NBA history, with Bucks assistant Joe Prunty taking over as interim head coach.

Meanwhile, Darvin Ham’s position with the Lakers has been tenuous, given the team’s precarious position in the Western Conference playoff picture.

At 22-22, they are 8.5 games behind the first-place Minnesota Timberwolves and are tied with the Utah Jazz for the final play-in spot for the playoffs, just one game ahead of the Houston Rockets and two ahead of the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers are expected to be active in the trade market to strengthen their roster for a postseason push.

Ham has acknowledged the speculation about his job status, expressing confidence in the support of team governor Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka, the vice president of basketball operations and general manager.

As for Steve Kerr, his status as a potential midseason departure from the Warriors seems unlikely. Kerr, who boasts four NBA titles with the team, is currently navigating the challenges of coaching amid the sudden passing of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.

On the other hand, Steve Clifford of the Charlotte Hornets is facing mounting pressure as his team struggles with a 10-31 record, placing them seven games out of playoff contention, with a discouraging 5-14 home record.

In Portland, Chauncey Billups finds himself in a similar predicament with the Trail Blazers, as they have posted a 12-30 record, ranking ahead of only the 8-35 San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference.

Billups’ tenure as head coach has yielded a 72-134 record since his appointment in 2021, with this season’s .286 winning percentage being the lowest during his tenure.

(Note: The odds provided are for informational purposes, and is not a regulated sportsbook in the United States).

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