The hot seat: Which teams will change coaches at the end of the year?

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Three guys named Mike have uncertain-at-best futures with their current clubs.

With less than a month to go in the regular season, it's obvious who is playing for something and who isn't. Playoff positioning is up for grabs, and there's still a tight race for the last seed in the West, but we essentially know which teams have been successful and which ones will be looking to shake things up in the offseason. That also means we know which coaches are on the hot seat. There were 13 new coaches this season, and, while there shouldn't be that much turnover again, there will be several teams looking at changes.

Almost certainly will change

New York Knicks:

I've no idea how Mike Woodson has survived this season. This Knicks season has been an unmitigated disaster and, while I'm not sure any coach could have fixed this, it seemed like New York was on the verge of making a move almost from the start. It's already been reported that a new coach will be part of the Knicks' pitch to Carmelo Anthony in free agency, and when rumors of Woodson's lack of job security continually surfaced, no one in New York's front office was allowed to dispel them.

Los Angeles Lakers:

What's happened to the Lakers isn't Mike D'Antoni's fault, and he should probably be commended for at least getting them to play as a team for the majority of the season. With the avalanche of injuries Los Angeles has sustained and the flawed roster it had to begin with, this was always going to be a down year. Looking forward, though, it appears unlikely D'Antoni will get to coach whoever the Lakers select with the high draft pick they'll be given. Neither Kobe Bryant nor Pau Gasol are fans of his offensive system, according to Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times, which makes Los Angeles' decision to hire him in the first place seem even more suspect.

Detroit Pistons:

Pistons interim coach John Loyer, who took over for Mo Cheeks in February, has not fixed what was ailing them, and perhaps he shouldn't have been expected to. Detroit hasn't established an offensive or defensive identity all season long, but part of that is because the pieces assembled by general manager Joe Dumars don't fit in any traditional way. Time is probably running out on Dumars' tenure as GM, and if there's a change in the front office, you can expect a coaching change, too. Sadly, I'd be surprised if Coach Sheed was put in charge.

Will possibly change

Minnesota Timberwolves:

The Timberwolves are in the midst of a disappointing season, but that's not the reason they're on this list. Rick Adelman considered retirement after last season, due to his wife's health, and there's a two-way option on his contract for next year. He can opt out, as can the team. "We'll take a hard look at it after the season," The 67-year-old Adelman told the Portland Tribune in late January, adding that you get tired of the travel when you get older.

Washington Wizards:

The Wizards have been an aggressively average basketball team for most of the season, but they've finally strung a few wins together since the All-Star break. Randy Wittman's job was likely more in jeopardy before that, but now it seems like Washington will more or less meet its preseason expectations. If the team collapses down the stretch or Wittman gets out-coached in the playoffs, though, discussion about whether or not he's the right man to take the Wizards to the next level might pick up again.

Utah Jazz:

Tyrone Corbin had the unenviable task of dealing with a roster full of young players not yet ready for primetime and veterans who are role players at best. Utah didn't plan on winning a lot of games, and it will be rewarded with yet another talented prospect in the upcoming draft. The fact that Corbin's Jazz have been the league's second-worst defensive team, per Basketball Reference, as well as his failure to find a way for big men Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors to work together, might mean he's not around when this group develops.

Toronto Raptors:

The Raptors have had the league's 10th-best offense and fourth-best defense since Dec. 8, the day they agreed to the trade that sent Rudy Gay to Sacramento, and Dwane Casey deserves serious credit for this. Casey has preached defense since the day he arrived in Toronto, and his team is finally starting to reflect his personality. It might seem crazy on the outside for general manager Masai Ujiri to not renew Casey's contract, which expires at the end of the year, but let's not forget what happened to George Karl and Lionel Hollins last summer. Ujiri might want to hire his own guy.

Fringe chances for a change

Cleveland Cavaliers:

If not for the five-year, $20 million deal (!) that Mike Brown signed last April, the Cavaliers would be higher up on this list. With playoff expectations coming into the season, Cleveland's season has been a massive letdown. Brown's offense has been a mess, and that same word has been used to describe the team's locker room issues. Brown was supposed to improve the team's defense, and he has, but Cleveland is still 20th in the league in defensive efficiency, per Basketball-Reference. There has been speculation about his future, but it looks like he'll at least start next season with the Cavaliers.

New Orleans Pelicans:

New Orleans has plenty of talent, but it was never anything close to a sure bet for the playoffs. The Pelicans will miss the postseason by a wide margin, and how the front office will react to that is unclear. It's probably best to bet that Monty Williams will get another try with basically the same group -- and a healthy Ryan Anderson, who makes a huge difference -- but it's possible general manager Dell Demps will decide it's time for more drastic changes. Williams is one of the league's youngest coaches, but his approach is decidedly old-school in an increasingly new-school league.

Anyone else:

The NBA is neurotic. Maybe Tom Thibodeau will flee Chicago. Maybe the Thunder will change directions if they falter in the postseason. You never know.

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