2022-23 NBA Coach Of The Year Award Odds: If Kings Make Playoffs, Mike Brown Has To Win

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Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown shouts to his team during game against the Portland Trail Blazers on October 19, 2022. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Pick: Mike Brown – Sacramento Kings (+240) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Mike Brown, Sacramento Kings (+240)
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The 2022-23 NBA Coach of the Year Award appears to be down to four contenders as the league comes out of the All-Star break later this week.

Let’s break down the contenders and give an NBA pick with odds from BetOnline, one of the top-rated sportsbooks. 

Picks Summary:

  • Joe Mazzulla – Boston Celtics (+210) 
  • Mike Brown – Sacramento Kings (+240) 
  • Michael Malone – Denver Nuggets (+375) 
  • Taylor Jenkins – Memphis Grizzlies (+950) 

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2022-23 NBA Coach of the Year Award Odds 

Only three active franchises have never had an NBA Coach of the Year Award winner:

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves
  • The Brooklyn Nets
  • The Los Angeles Clippers

That’s not going to change this season, either. 

The winner receives the Red Auerbach Trophy, which is named in honor of the head coach who led the Boston Celtics to nine NBA championships from 1956-1966 and is widely considered the best coach in league history.

Yet no member of Auerbach’s Celtics has won Coach of the Year since Bill Fitch in 1980. That may change this summer. 

Here are the current Coach of the Year favorites and their respective NBA odds from BetOnline. 

Joe Mazzulla, Boston Celtics (+210) 

Mazzulla could become one of the most unlikely winners of this award simply because he himself wasn’t expecting to be Boston’s head coach as recently as mid-September.

Last season under first-year coach Ime Udoka, the Celtics after a slow start finished with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and reached their first NBA Finals since 2010, losing in six to Golden State. 

The Celtics looked like a burgeoning dynasty with the defensive-minded Udoka on the bench and young superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in their prime.

Wheels Fall Off For Udoka, Mazzulla Steps Up

Alas, Udoka was suspended for the entire 2022-23 season in late September when news broke that an investigation revealed multiple violations of team policies by Udoka – he reportedly was sleeping with a few women in the organization, including the wife of a team vice president. 

Boston was ready to let Brooklyn hire Udoka early this season when the Nets fired Steve Nash, but there was so much blowback on Udoka that the Nets changed their minds.

Mazzulla was originally named interim coach but with the C’s humming along with the best record in the East, he was recently given the full-time title, so Udoka won’t be back. BetOnline actually offers an NBA prop on his next team.  

Hey, Mazzulla even ended Team LeBron’s five-game winning streak in the All-Star Game on Sunday as he coached Team Giannis to a 184-175 victory. 

Mike Brown, Sacramento Kings (+240) 

Some around the NBA criticized the Kings this offseason for hiring a retread like Brown instead of some new blood to end the league’s longest playoff drought, but it appears Kings ownership finally did something right as Brown, a former head coach with the Cavs and Lakers, has the team at 32-25, third in the Western Conference and all but a lock to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Sacramento already has won more games than it did all of last season. 

None other than Kyrie Irving, who played for Brown in Cleveland, has noted the change in Sacramento: “It shows you a team that’s really bought into their leadership,” Irving said. “Mike has seen championship-caliber teams and been on championship teams, so he’s coached great players and been around great players. I would want to be around somebody like that, too.  A coach that can echo some of the things that I need to hear as a player and hold me accountable. Mike does a great job at doing that.” 

If the Kings do make the playoffs, it would be a crime for Brown not to win this for the second time – he did in 2008-09 with Cleveland. The Kings have never had a Coach of the Year since moving to Sacramento. 

Michael Malone, Denver Nuggets (+375) 

The only realistic way I see Malone winning this award is if the Nuggets finish with the best overall record in the NBA and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Denver comes out of the break atop the West at 41-18 and a game behind Boston for the best record. 

Malone seems to get little credit for the Nuggets’ success – it goes to Nikola Jokic, who is the betting favorite for a third straight MVP.

Malone was the coach of the losing Team LeBron side in the All-Star Game and did say something we all were thinking: “It’s the worst basketball game ever played. I don’t know if you can fix it. I give Joel Embiid and Kyrie Irving [credit], those two guys were competing. They tried to get some defense in. No one got hurt, they put on a show for the fans, but that’s a tough game to sit through, I’m not gonna lie.”  

George Karl was the last Nuggets winner of the award in 2012-13. 

Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Grizzlies (+950) 

You probably weren’t even aware that the anonymous Jenkins was the coach of the Grizzlies until I told you; he was runner-up for 2021-22 NBA Coach of the Year.  

Maybe a month ago, Jenkins might have deserved this award as the Grizz were fighting for the West’s best record on an 11-game winning streak but are just 4-9 since.

Late-game issues have been a problem, and I’ve read that Jenkins might be on the hot seat if Memphis flames out in the playoffs. The team tends to lose focus on the road, where it is 11-17

While West contenders like Phoenix, the LA Lakers, and Clippers all got better at the Trade Deadline, Memphis was quiet. The lone Grizzlies winner of this award was Hubie Brown in the 2003-04 season.  

NBA Pick: Mike Brown – Sacramento Kings (+240) at BetOnline 

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.