NBA Hot Seat: Vegas Odds for Which Coach Will Be Fired First in 2018-19

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Luke Walton got his dream job when he was named the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Could that dream be coming to an end sooner than expected? | Harry How/Getty Images

When a team wins, the players reap the rewards. But, when a team loses, it’s usually the head coach that takes the fall. This is how it works in professional sports. The National Basketball Association is no different.

It’s still early in the 2018-19 NBA regular season, and so far, no one’s lost their job. But, at some point, a franchise will axe its head coach. Who will be the first to enter the unemployment line? Vegas oddsmakers have weighed in. Here’s a look at who they believe will be the first NBA head coach fired in 2018-19.

Odds courtesy of as of October 26, 2018. 

Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder (+600)

Billy Donovan has an overall record of 150-100 since becoming the Thunder’s head coach back in 2015-16. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that OKC has started off the year 0-4 and is only putting up 101.8 points per game (28th of 30). When you have Russell Westbrook and Paul George leading the way, you’re expected to do better. Donovan needs to right the ship — and quick.

Tyronn Lue, Cleveland Cavaliers (+400)

The Cavs are exactly who we thought they’d be without LeBron James. Not good. And when you begin the year at 0-5, it’s only a matter of time before a change is made. Consider head coach Tyronn Lue officially on the hot seat in Cleveland.

Fred Hoiberg, Chicago Bulls (+400)

The Chicago Bulls went 27-55 last season and are off to a 1-5 start in 2017-2018. This doesn’t exactly bode well for head coach Fred Hoiberg, who’s sporting a mediocre .442 winning percentage in his four seasons on the job. The front office has a fondness for its head coach. We know this. But it can only tolerate losing for so long.

Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers (+300)

The Lakers have steadily improved in each of Luke Walton’s first two seasons as head coach. However, the King is now in Los Angeles. And that means expectations are higher than they’ve been in quite some time. Walton will get the opportunity to prove he’s the right man for the job. But, the clock is ticking.

Tom Thibodeau, Minnesota Timberwolves (+200)

Tom Thibodeau led the Minnesota Timberwolves to the playoffs last year; the organization’s first trip to the postseason since the 2003-04 season. But the offseason Jimmy Butler fiasco is further proof that this team is not where it should be. If the T-Wolves don’t improve on last season’s success, it could be Thibs who’s shown the door. At least, that’s how Vegas currently sees is.

Statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.

Other notable coaches to watch:

  • Dave Joerger, Sacramento Kings (+900)
  • Scott Brooks, Washington Wizards (+1000)
  • Terry Stotts, Portland Trail Blazers (+1400)
  • David Fizdale, New York Knicks (+2000)

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