Year after year in the NBA, there is turnover among the ranks of head coaches.
The NBA is a business and if front offices feel a head coach is not helping the team win, they must move on.
This past offseason saw four teams hire new head coaches.
The Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, and Utah Jazz.
Los Angeles felt they needed a new voice in the locker room after a tumultuous 2021-22 season.
Charlotte and Sacramento wanted to bring in coaches who could bring their young squads into the playoffs.
And Utah is entering the initial stages of a rebuild and did not want to keep Quin Snyder around.
This year will assuredly be nothing new.
Teams have expectations entering the season and if those expectations are not met, the head coach is typically the scapegoat.
Here are three head coaches who are on the hot seat entering the season.
3. Nate McMillan
First up is Nate McMillan of the Atlanta Hawks.
McMillan is entering his second full season as the head coach of the Hawks after taking over for Lloyd Pierce midway through the 2020-21 season.
McMillan had a successful start to his coaching run in Atlanta.
The upstart Hawks went on a surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals with their potent offense and much-improved defense.
But the Hawks backslid last year on the defensive end.
Trae Young got his wish with Dejounte Murray arriving to the Hawks in a trade with the Spurs. pic.twitter.com/AdwVnbSNtY
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2022
They finished as the seven seed and lost to the Miami Heat in the first-round 4-1.
Atlanta made a big move this offseason to hopefully correct those defensive shortcomings by trading for Dejounte Murray.
Trae Young and Murray give the Hawks one of the best two-way backcourts in the league.
While Murray may not vault the Hawks into the top five of the league’s best defenses, it will be on McMillan to make sure Atlanta is at least in the top half defensively.
For a team that is clearly set to win now, Atlanta will be banking on their head coach to make the Hawks a serious playoff contender.
2. Tom Thibodeau
Next up is the head coach of the New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau.
Thibodeau is in a similar boat as McMillan.
He is entering his third season with the franchise and after exceeding expectations in his first year, he faltered last season.
Thibodeau has always been known as one of the best defensive head coaches in the league.
He helped the Knicks allow the fewest points per game in his first season but then saw that drop to the sixth-fewest last year.
The offense, meanwhile, remained constant at 26th in the league.
BREAKING: Jalen Brunson is expected to sign a 4-year, $110M deal with the New York Knicks. pic.twitter.com/wBlDodU4ls
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) June 30, 2022
But the arrival of new offseason signing Jalen Brunson should help on that front.
New York finally has a lead guard who can run their offense.
Between Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle, Knicks executives will be expecting another trip to the playoffs from their head coach.
Thibodeau has been known to wear out his welcome quickly.
And pairing that with a franchise in a large market with large expectations will assuredly mean the heat is on Thibodeau this year.
1. Steve Nash
Last, we have Steve Nash, the head coach of the intriguing Brooklyn Nets.
One may have seen his name in the news this offseason during the Kevin Durant trade saga.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Durant asked Nets’ owner Joe Tsai to either fire Nash and GM Sean Marks or trade him.
Given Nash is on this list, Durant’s demand was clearly not met.
#NBA Brooklyn #Nets superstar Kevin Durant told team owner Joe Tsai that he will continue to request a trade from the franchise unless head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks are fired, sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/gxhoCfeCvU
— OddsMaker (@oddsmaker) August 8, 2022
But that doesn’t mean Nash’s job as the head coach is safe.
Nash is entering his third season in Brooklyn and has not met the lofty expectations set for the Nets.
While they were a KD big toe away from an Eastern Conference Finals in his first year, they were swept by the Boston Celtics last year.
The Nets have rarely gotten their two stars to play consistently, but that will only save Nash for so long.
Brooklyn is healthy entering the year and should have Ben Simmons available.
If Nash is not able to get this Nets team winning at an elite level, his time as a head coach may be over.