4. Brett Brown, Philadelphia 76ers
Coming off a 52-win season, this could be the year the Philadelphia 76ers really explode onto the scene and establish themselves as an Eastern Conference powerhouse. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will only be in their third and second seasons, respectively. Markelle Fultz might look like an entirely new player, and LeBron James has departed westward.
The Boston Celtics and Raptors are still probably ahead of Philly, but Brett Brown’s squad has so many young players that it might not matter for Coach of the Year purposes. After failing to land a big fish in the offseason, the Sixers will be relying on internal development more than anything else.
If that comes to fruition, and The Process takes yet another step forward, Brown will emerge as a serious candidate. Sure, Brad Stevens coached circles around him in the playoffs, but if the 76ers build on last season’s success, it’ll be hard not to vote for the guy who’s endured the worst of this rebuild and now is being rewarded with the chance to enjoy the best of what’s to come.