Coaching Rumors Run Rampant After Udoka Appears At Clippers-Lakers

It’s been a while since we’ve seen or heard from former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. You might recall that he was suspended for the season on the even of the 2022-23 tip-off for having improper relations with a female Boston Celtics staff member. Since then, it’s been quiet as the Celtics have clearly moved on and seem fine without him.

Udoka was spotted at the Los Angeles Clippers-Lakers game this past week as he was perched up in the stands. That sparked speculation as sports betting sites have posted odds on where he’ll land next. Was he getting an early look at the two Los Angeles teams – two squads that have underachieved their massive expectations. Or could another outlet be in the cards? Let’s take a closer look.

Lakers, Clippers Fans Clamoring For Udoka

It didn’t take long for Lakers Twitter to eye that Udoka was in the stands and many fans were already acting as if the press conference was next week. Of course, the Lakers just hired Darvin Ham last offseason and handed him a pretty tough hand. Not only was the roster lacking depth, the team couldn’t shoot threes for much of the season or stay healthy. Would they really be willing to cut ties so quickly?

The Lakers are in win-now mode and Udoka has the pedigree that they’re looking for. He won a championship as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs and led the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals last season. Sure, he has a bit of a checkered past but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Lakers looked past it.

As for the Clippers, there had been some recent chatter that maybe things weren’t working out with Ty Lue and that the sides might go their separate ways. However, that was quickly deemed to be nothing more than conjecture. 

Raptors Favored To Land Udoka?

If you trust the oddsmakers in these kinds of situations, then take note that the Toronto Raptors are the franchise that’s favored to land Udoka this offseason. Although the franchise tends to be very tightlipped about moves and inside news, it appears that head coach Nick Nurse might be moving on from the team at the end of the year.

If that’s the case, the Raptors would have an opening and a pretty attractive one at that. They’re no championship contender at this point but there are far worse places to be. The team has plenty of young talent and might be a superstar away from being in the East’s elite again. On the other hand, maybe they break things down in the offseason and Udoka and Raptors front office leader Masai Ujiri start with a blank page. 

One thing to remember is that Udoka interviewed for the Raptors job back in 2018 when it ended up going to Dwane Casey. While Nurse is still favored to be the Raptors head coach next season at +155, Udoka is right there with him at +175. If Nurse or the Raptors feel like it’s time to move on, Udoka could be top man for the job – even if he comes with some baggage.