Lakers’ Frank Vogel, James Harden, Kemba Walker

We are now at the quarter-finale of the 2021-22 NBA Season. This is the perfect time to take a look at the league and see which players, coaches and executives, as well as team owners, are in the hot seats.

The Rockets are on a tightrope as John Wall, a healthy benching of John Wall, a 31-year-old five time All-Star point guard, borders on a violation to NBA rules against tanking. Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, was fined $600,000. He admitted to tanking for Luka Docic in 2018.

This could be the end of Fertitta’s financial woes. Less than two years after he laid off 40,000 employees in March 2020 — roughly 70% of his restaurant and casino empire’s staff — Forbes estimates his net worth could double to more than $8 billion this month. Fertitta’s Rockets was valued at $2.5 Billion. But his wealth is built on a foundation. Debt, Industry woesAnd Complex business dealingsTo get out of the debt he is facing one class-action lawsuit, Another possibilityAnd More legal obstacles.

Fertitta, on the other hand, has ripped the Rockets to shreds every year since he bought them back in 2017. Houston pushed the Golden State Warriors to the edge in the 2018 Western Conference finals, Fertitta’s debut season as team owner. In free agency, he let two rotational players of a 65-win team walk. He also made other cost-cutting moves that helped him avoid a luxury income tax he called “The Tax.”a horrible hindrance.”

In 2019, his Rockets lost their chance to force Warriors to another Game 7. Fertitta was the one who demanded the horrible swapRussell Westbrook and Chris Paul. The deal has now devolved into Wall sitting on the Houston bench. The Rockets avoided the luxury tax by trading Clint Capela, a talented center for Robert Covington. Rafael Stone, the new general manager, replaced Daryl Morey, who transformed Covington into Christian Wood. Now reportedly on the Trade Market.

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The mess led to Westbrook and fellow one-time MVP James Harden requesting trades — for reasons reportedly linked to Fertitta’s politics — that were ultimately granted. Houston preferred to acquire Jarrett Allen and Caris leVert, both young players, in the Harden deal. Harden has nothing but savings in the rotation.

Kelly Iko and David Aldridge of The Athletic reported November 2020 that Fertitta was “.”The government is determined to reduce payroll.” Within a year, the Rockets went from having the longest active playoff streak in the league and a top-10 payroll to being one of the worst teams and a bottom-10 payroll. Only the Detroit Pistons will have more cap space in 2023 when Wall, Wood, and Eric Gordon’s deals are all off the books.

If the goal is to build a championship contender, this is a great strategy to use. Fertitta, however, has shown a reluctance to keep such a team together. He prefers the Forbes philosophy for the annual cover story about the 400 richest Americans. “Everything, to me, has to make money.”

What happens if no one wants to join the Rockets 2023 for the same reasons Harden or Westbrook wanted? Houston fans have abandoned the team during their lowest yearsHarden’s prepandemic sellouts have already led to a drop in attendance. A years-long strategy of tanking could result in financial losses or very close to them in the future. How much fun would it be to own Rockets?

Frank Vogel, the Lakers coach, could be a convenient scapegoat. (Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

Frank Vogel, Los Angeles Lakers Coach

Vogel finds himself in the hot seat because of no fault of his own. “rising buzz in coaching circles about the pressure mounting on”The steward for a middling Lakers team Marc Stein, a veteran NBA reporter, said so..

We are 14 months away now from Vogel leading Lakers to a championship with an elite defense around LeBron Jam and Anthony Davis. Rob Pelinka, Lakers general manger, has since lost Alex Caruso, to a lowball, free-agency offer, and traded three additional top-seven rotational Lakers’ players from the title-team, plus the 2020 Sixth Man, all of whom are thriving as playoff players. Pelinka’s only evidence is Westbrook, which is one of the oldest teams in NBA history. It has a below-average defense, and an even worse offense.

James has missed over half of their games. He was hospitalized for more than two weeks after suffering an abdominal strain. He was admitted to the NBA’s safety protocol on Nov. 30 but was cleared to return to work on Thursday. L.A. currently ranks sixth in the Western Conference but is only one game ahead of 10th.

Lineups with Davis at the center and James and Westbrook at his sides outscoring their opponents by 7.7 points per hundred possessions. This is a small sample and may allow the Lakers to be optimistic. Vogel’s seat could get hotter if there is any trend toward a second consecutive play in tournament bid. This is because the Westbrook deal cannot be reversed at this point, and Pelinka will need to find a scapegoat.

Neil Olshey, Portland Trail Blazers executive

It has been one month since the Blazers began investigating Olshey’s claims of creating a toxic working environment. The investigation was originally expected to take just days. However, it turned out to be a week-long effort that included interviews with current and former employees.

His job is clearly dependent on those findings. However, Olshey’s seat could be hot even if he wasn’t the subject of an investigation. Since 2012, Olshey has been in charge of Portland’s front offices. He led eight consecutive playoff appearances and three 50-win seasons. He also managed a run to the 2019 Western Conference finals.

Five of those playoff appearances led to first-round exits. This includes the four that were around the franchise’s first trip in the conference finals. Portland’s combined record between the 2018-19 campaign and this season is 88–80, with an 11-11 record this season. Olshey has made little or no progress in the team’s wings around Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, but he has not been able to or unwilling to take the kind of all-in bet it would take to save Lillard’s prime years.

Unless McCollum and/or Nurkic are packaged for an upgrade, it will be time to deal Lillard. The Blazers will have to decide if Olshey is the executive that they want to pull the trigger.

James Harden’s hamstring

Harden’s output is trending upward. He averages a 21-8-9 with 60% true shooting. Not quite peak Harden, but impressive nonetheless. He has been unable to compete against quality defenses. His most recent effort was a 4-for-15 shooting performance against the Phoenix Suns. This included seven turnovers. The Brooklyn crowd’s boosThese were more indicative of his season’s performance than the triple-double he achieved that night.

Harden claimed recently that the hamstring injury that he sustained last season and which lasted into November still bothers him is not an issue, but he is clearly not in his best physical condition. Harden is playing more minutes than any other Nets player and all 18 league-wide players without Kyrie Irving.

Harden, once a reliable star in the league, is still not being rested by the Nets. His absences due to injury have gone from four at age 29, in his 2018-19 season, to fourteen a year later and to 28 last season. The 32-year old will find out if playing his own way to game shape is the best strategy.

Blake Griffin and Kemba Walker were All-NBA performers just two years ago. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Blake Griffin, Kemba Walker, and Kemba Walker were All NBA performers two years ago. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Blake Griffin and Kemba Turner’s careers

Walker and Griffin were both on the All-NBA Third Team for 2019. While the pandemic may have slowed down time, it was only two years ago that Griffin and Walker were both on the All-NBA Third Team in 2019. Both players have been benched since then.

Walker’s departure from the New York Knicks rotation was officially announced by Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks coach. He has missed their last two matches, including a loss against Brooklyn. Griffin said that he had been benched the day before, after a pair of healthy scratches against the Nets.I didn’t necessarily see it coming..”

The past two-years have shown a very different story.

Walker, 31, was treated for three injuries to his left knee in 2015-17. He played all but two games the next two seasons. Walker signed a max deal with the Boston Celtics following his 2019 All NBA campaign. Three months into that deal, Walker’s left knee began flaring up again, and he has not been the same since — to the point the Celtics attached a first-round pick to dump his contract on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder purchased the remaining portion of his contract in the summer and he signed a shorter-term deal with the Knicks for less money through 2023. Within two months, he was out of the rotation with a playoff team.

Griffin, 32, required surgery on his left knee following the 2019 playoffs, and then underwent another in January 2020 — his third procedure on that joint and fourth on both of his knees since entering the league. Griffin played 20 games last season for the Detroit Pistons, which was his last season. benched him, failed to find one trade suitor and eventually gave up. Griffin joined the Nets as a veteran on a minimum contract.

He enjoyed a rebound in the second half of last season as a role-playing big guy who benefited from the extra space provided by Harden Irving and Kevin Durant. This resurgence ended early in this season when he played 34 of 107 games from the field (31.8%), and 9 for 56 from 3-point distance (16.1%) in his first 17 games.

New Orleans Pelicans executive David Griffin

It has been weeks since Bleacher Report was last updated Jake Fischer reported Griffin’s hot seatThe Pelicans have responded by posting a 5-6 record since their 1-12 debut, despite Zion Williamson’s absence. Griffin should feel cooler if he has a light month ahead.

But, even if Williamson was willing to be unfairly warmed by the Pelicans before they could let him take the floor, Thursday’s news that Williamson had suffered a setback in his career rehabOffseason foot surgery is not something to be welcomed. Williamson’s latest setback is expected to delay, according to reports. rehabNew Orleans is now out of play-in contention by one week.

Griffin’s third year on the Pelicans is here. Williamson’s foot pain will cause him to miss more games than he has ever played. Griffin is not expected to be cured by any potential replacement. The Pelicans can judge Griffin on the performance a team that spent three years trying to get its generational talent healthier.

Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe is now on his third team in three seasons and his trade value has fallen to an all-time low. He averages 9.8 points on 42/28/82 shot splits and 3.4 assist against 2.2 turnovers. Bledsoe has been a part of the Los Angeles Clippers (11-11), which is a team that reached Western Conference finals last year. However, they have been outscored 18.8 points per 100 possessions. Bledsoe has still started every game.

Ty Lue, the Clippers’ coach, stated to reporters that the team had the “ability” to overcome Bledsoe’s struggles a month prior.Ultimate trust” in him. He has been shooting less and scoring more efficiently since then, but he continues digging the Clippers into a hole for nearly 30 minutes per night. Bledsoe’s 10 points per 100 possessions has not been enough for Bledsoe to overcome his deficit.

The Clippers’ goal this season is to reach the playoffs. Kawhi Leonard, the two-time Finals MVP, could be back from ACL surgery. But Bledsoe is jeopardizing their chances of securing a spot in the postseason. Bledsoe’s $18.1million salary is a good start towards finding enough dead income to match Wall’s.

Luka Doncic’s condition

Doncic is a talent of the future. The Dallas Mavericks have the West’s fourth-best record despite a negative Net Rating and subpar performances from his core. In the past two seasons, he has reported that he has been unable to keep up with his conditioning. His shooting efficiency is his worst. Although we cannot know if they are tied, it would be nice to see preseason MVP favorite, 22-year-old, enter a season in top form.

This is not nitpicking. Doncic is the best player to create offense.

Last season, Jeremy Holsopple of the Mavericks won the MVP award Strength and Conditioning Coach of YearHonor, and Doncic’s personal trainerAnze Macek, an Anze Macek, revived Goran Dragic’s career, under the tutelage and guidance of Miami Heat culture. Macek admitted it, “Luka is a young player, so his recovery is very fast. But this will get more difficult as he gets older.”The better, the earlier an all-time great can retake control of his career,

Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons


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Ben Rohrbach is a Yahoo Sports staff writer. Have a tip for us? Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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