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Image for Christian Jope Christian Jope - Updated March 29, 2023

2023 NBA Coach of the Year Predictions, Best Bets, Picks

  • Get the most recent 2023 NBA Coach of the Year odds
  • Mike Brown of the Sacramento Kings is the favorite to win the 2023 NBA Coach of the Year
  • View stats and trends that will help you beat the sportsbooks

The NBA's 77th season is coming to a close. Once every team has completed its 82-game schedule, the league will announce which coach has had the most significant impact on their team's success!

Ime Udoka opened as the favorite to win the Coach of the Year award in 2023. However, after some compelling circumstances and the rise of some teams behind the leadership of experienced coaches, the field looks very different compared to the season's opening. Mike Brown is the current favorite to win Coach of the Year!

Let's look at the most exciting questions about the NBA Coach of the Year award!

2023 NBA Coach of the Year Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Updated on 30 March 2023

Mike BrownSacramento Kings-1200
Joe MazzullaBoston Celtics+700
Mike BudenholzerMilwaukee Bucks+800
Michael MaloneDenver Nuggets+850
Mark DaigneaultOklahoma City Thunder+2000

For two seasons preceding the COVID-19 pandemic altered schedule, the NBA Coach of the Year has been named at the annual NBA Awards show. After the cancellation of the NBA Awards ceremony, the prize winner was announced during the NBA Playoffs.

The winner of the 2023 NBA Coach of the Year award will be the 60th winner in NBA history. The first ever NBA Coach of the Year award was given in 1963.

The criteria that define a Coach of the Year winner are broad but are primarily determined by a team's improved record.



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Nba Coach Of The Year Monty Williams

Who is the Favorite to Win NBA Coach of the Year in 2023?

Mike Brown - Sacramento Kings

TeamYearRecordOff RtgDef RtgPace
SAC2021-2230-52 (12th in West)109.9 (25th of 30)115.3 (27th of 30)99.8 (8th of 30)
SAC2022-23 45-30 (3rd in West)119.6 (1st of 30)117.2 (26th of 30)100.4 (11th of 30)

There was little expected from the Sacramento Kings after they finished 12th overall last season. It was projected to be positive when they hired Mike Brown, but their talent pool didn't drastically change. Cue the 2022-23 NBA season, and both Mike Brown and the Sacramento Kings are one of the best stories in the NBA.

After some trades and acquisitions that better balanced the Sacramento Kings' roster, a team projected for mediocrity has risen to third in the Western Conference. While their defensive ability still has room to grow, Mike Brown has commanded a game plan resulting in the league's top offense!

The combination of low expectations to begin the season and then surprising consistency as they joined the top of the Western Conference has resulted in Brown becoming the favorite to win Coach of the Year. An experienced coach combined with a young and growing squad has become one of the best stories of the NBA season!

Who are the contenders for the 2023 NBA Coach of the Year award?

Joe Mazzulla - Boston Celtics

TeamYearRecordOff RtgDef RtgPace
BOS2021-2251-31 (2nd in East)114.4 (7th of 30)106.9 (2nd of 30)96.6 (24th of 30)
BOS2022-2352-24 (2nd in East)117.8 (3rd of 30)111.8 (4th of 30)98.6 (18th of 30)

To say that Joe Mazzulla has done an excellent job with the Boston Celtics this season would be an understatement. After Ime Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, off-court controversies led to his dismissal in favor of Mazzulla in an interim, later full-time, position.

Not only has Mazzulla been able to carry over the Celtics' defensive standards from last season, but he's made them one of the most potent offensive units in the NBA. On top of fostering the growth of young stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Mazzulla has seamlessly integrated new faces and fringe talents into creative lineups to earn victories.

The Boston Celtics project not only to make the NBA Finals this season, but they're one of the top picks to win the NBA Championship this season! For a rookie head coach to be this successful, it's no wonder he's in the running to win Coach of the Year.

Mike Budenholzer - Milwaukee Bucks

TeamYearRecordOff RtgDef RtgPace
MIL2021-2251-31 (3rd in East)115.1 (3rd in East)111.8 (14th in East)99.9 (7th in East)
MIL2022-2354-21 (1st in East)115.2 (13th of 30)110.9 (3rd of 30)100.5 (10th of 30)

Mike Budenholzer has already won Coach of the Year twice, but his performance with the Milwaukee Bucks suggests he should be in the running to earn a third. Despite an injury-riddled season for the Bucks, Budenholzer has brought his team to the top of the Eastern Conference. He'd be the fourth coach to win Coach of the Year three times!

Like the Denver Nuggets, Budenholzer has the benefit of a multi-time Most Valuable Player winner leading his team on both ends of the court. However, Budenholzer deserves credit for flipping the switch on his team's style. Becoming one of the league's best defensive sides while remaining an offensive threat and winning first place in the East makes Budenholzer a deserving candidate for Coach of the Year.

Michael Malone - Denver Nuggets

TeamYearRecordOff RtgDef RtgPace
DEN2021-2248-34 (6th in West)114.5 (6th of 30)112.1 (15th of 30)97.8 (19th of 30)
DEN2022-2351-24 (1st in West)118.5 (2nd of 30)114.3 (16th of 30)98.1 (23rd)

The Denver Nuggets suffered much criticism after losing in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, but they've bounced back this season. Behind another MVP-worthy performance from Nikola Jokic and the guidance of Michael Malone to one of the league's most efficient offenses, Denver is in an excellent position for the post-season. Sometimes having the league's best player works against a coach's award chances, so his chances of earning the ultimate prize could be better.

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NBA Coach of the Year FAQ

Who was the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year?

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams won the 2022 NBA Coach of the Year award. It was Williams' first time winning the award after narrowly losing it in 2021.

Williams led the 2022 Phoenix Suns to a 64-18 record, the best mark in the Western Conference and NBA. The Suns' record improved by 13 wins, while their defensive rating jumped from ninth overall to third.

After narrowly losing the award in 2021, Williams could not be denied in 2022. He earned 81 first-place votes and totaled 458 points in the voting process - more than double the runner-up.

When will the NBA Coach of the Year be Announced?

The NBA Coach of the Year winner is expected to be named in mid-to-late June during the NBA Playoffs. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the NBA to adjust its schedule over the last two seasons, canceling the NBA Awards for the foreseeable future.

There is no set date for when the winner will be announced, but it is usually made public during a broadcast of Inside the NBA.

How is the NBA Coach of the Year Selected?

A panel of sportswriters from the United States and Canada vote for the eventual Coach of the Year at the end of the regular season. Each member of the voting panel casts a vote for their first, second, and third place selections - each vote is worth five, three, and one point, respectively.

The coach who receives the highest point total, regardless of first-place votes, is named the NBA Coach of the Year!

Does the NBA Coach of the Year Receive a Prize?

The NBA Coach of the Year receives the Red Auerbach Trophy. The trophy was named in honor of the legendary Boston Celtics coach who led his team to nine NBA championships between 1956 and 1966.

Who Has Won NBA Coach of the Year Multiple Times?

There have been ten coaches to win Coach of the Year multiple times. Don Nelson, Pat Riley, and Gregg Popovich lead all winners with three Coach of the Year trophies each. Beyond them, seven players have won the award twice.

Multi-time Coach of the Year winners:

  • Three-time Winners
    • Don Nelson (1983, 1985, 1992)
    • Pat Riley (1990, 1993, 1997)
    • Gregg Popovich (2003, 2012, 2014)
  • Two-time Winners
    • Gene Shue (1969, 1982)
    • Bill Fitch (1976, 1980)
    • Hubie Brown (1978, 2004)
    • Cotton Fitzsimmons (1979, 1989)
    • Mike D'Antoni (2005, 2017)
    • Mike Budenholzer (2015, 2019)
    • Tom Thibodeau (2011, 2021)

How Many NBA Coach of the Year Winners are in the Basketball Hall of Fame?

The NBA Coach of the Year Award tends to signify a coach who will go on to enjoy a long NBA career. With enough sustained success, great coaches will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. There have been 12 NBA Coach of the Year winners who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame:

  • Larry Brown
  • Pat Riley
  • Phil Jackson
  • Lenny Wilkens
  • Don Nelson
  • Cotton Fitzsimmons
  • Bill Fitch
  • Tom Heinsohn
  • Bill Sharman
  • Red Holzman
  • Red Auerbach
  • Alex Hannum

Has a Non-American Coach Ever Won Coach of the Year?

Every NBA Coach of the Year Award winner has been American. However, two-time Coach of the Year Mike D'Antoni, although born in the United States, holds dual citizenship between the United States and Italy.

Which Team Has Produced the Most Coach of the Year Winners?

The team that has produced the most NBA Coach of the Year Winners has been the Atlanta Hawks and its former iteration, the St. Louis Hawks. The six winners for the Atlanta Hawks were:

  • Mike Budenholzer (2015)
  • Lenny Wilkens (1994)
  • Mike Fratello (1986)
  • Hubie Brown (1978)
  • Richie Guerin (1968)
  • Harry Gallatin (1963)

Which Team Has Never Produced a Coach of the Year Winner?

In current NBA history, there are only three teams that have not produced an NBA Coach of the Year winner:

  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Brooklyn Nets
  • LA Clippers

2023 sees Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch and Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn as genuine contenders to earn their team's first Coach of the Year Award.

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Christian Jope

1079 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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