Tonight's matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers will feature two head coaches whose futures are not set in stone. Its not out of the realm of possibility that both the Hawks and the Sixers will have new head coaches in place when the 2013-14 seasons open although each team has a different set of circumstances.
NBA.com's Sekou Smith included both Drew and Collins in his Tuesday column featuring coaches on the proverbial hot seat. Collins' situation in Philadelphia differs from Drew in that he has another year on his contract and that the Sixers organization want him back according to Smith. However, will Collins who has looked tired and frustrated in the wake of the Andrew Bynum trade have the energy to return to the sidelines for one more season? Only Collins knows but Smith thinks that the decision is Collins' to make.
His fourth year is already set. The Sixers' front office wants him back. And they'll need a steady, veteran coach to guide them out of the mess that the Bynum trade unleashed upon the organization and the fans. Collins is on thin ice only if he wants to be.
Larry Drew is in a much different place with the Hawks as he will wrap up a three-year stint as head coach when his contract expires at the end of the season. Drew has gone 226-126 with the Hawks and has guided the team into the post season in each of his three seasons. He was the darkest of dark horse candidates to replace Mike Woodson and has successfully taken the club from an iso heavy offensive approach to one of the highest assist teams in the league.
The question is whether or not Drew is part of new GM Danny Ferry's vision for the future of the franchise. On that subject Smith isn't so sure:
Bottom line? Drew was not Ferry's pick as coach. And if the Hawks are going to remake themselves this summer, it makes sense that Ferry will do so with his own pick as coach.
Along with a near total roster makeover, the head coaching decision will be one of the biggest storylines for the franchise heading into the offseason. If not Drew then who? Can Ferry lure a high profile coach to a Hawks team that might not be totally rebuilding but will definitely be retooling? Ferry could also look to give an unproven assistant coach a shot in a lot of the same way that Drew ended up with the job in the first place.