NBA Coach of the Year odds: Why Thunder's Mark Daigneault, Suns' Frank Vogel are the best preseason picks

Getty Images

In any given season, there are only eight plausible candidates for Coach of the Year. Realistically, that number is often far smaller. Why? Because every Coach of the Year winner since Scott Brooks in 2010 has led a top-four seed. This century, the only other coaches to win without finishing in the top four in their conference were Doc Rivers with the Magic in 2000 and Hubie Brown with the Grizzlies in 2004.

That doesn’t mean that finishing fourth is usually going to cut it, though. Between Brooks (Thunder) in 2010 and Mike Brown (Kings) last season, eight of the 12 winners coached No. 1 seeds. Nick Nurse (Raptors) coached a No. 2 seed in 2020, George Karl (Nuggets, 2013) and Mike D’Antoni (Rockets, 2017) won as No. 3 seeds and Tom Thibodeau

Buddy Hield trade rumors: Three possible destinations with Pacers sharpshooter on the block again

Getty Images

The news that the Indiana Pacers are looking into trades for Buddy Hield isn’t especially surprising. The Pacers have three ascending guards in Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard that all need more minutes and more shots. They just signed Bruce Brown to a hefty contract in free agency, and T.J. McConnell is still around for backcourt depth as well. Hield can help the Pacers, but he’s not exactly a necessity in Indiana.

The ironic component of this news is the timing. Buddy Hield has lost his safety school. Hield has been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers for two years. Such a deal made plenty of sense. The Lakers have been among the NBA’s worst shooting teams for practically the entire LeBron James era. Hield has never played with a shot-creator