A 10-candidate list has been whittled to three finalists: Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Quin Snyder. Among those eliminated: Former Portland and Seattle coach Nate McMillan.
Sloan is the only one of the three with previous NBA head-coaching experience. Sloan, who took the Jazz to two NBA Finals, has said he's receptive to taking on a Bobcats team that finished last season 7-59 – the worst winning percentage in NBA history.
Sloan has been out of the league for 1 1/2 seasons after resigning from the Jazz. There's a strong sense that, at 70, the Hall of Famer is bored and hungry to get back into coaching.
Shaw became the lead assistant for the Pacers after losing out in the search for a new coach with the Lakers. He played and coached extensively for Phil Jackson, and it's expected if Shaw gets the Bobcats job he'd install the Triangle offense he learned under Jackson. Bobcats' owner Michael Jordan played in the Triangle for Jackson with the Bulls.
Snyder, who has ties to North Carolina as a former Duke point guard, is the wild card in this group. He is not the lead assistant with the Lakers. He does have head-coaching experience at other levels, having coached Missouri in college and with Austin (Texas) in the Development League.
Snyder is considered particularly smart and an offensive innovator. But his relative lack of NBA experience would make installing him in this role quite unorthodox.