Departing coach Andrew Gaze has nominated Rob Beveridge, Trevor Gleeson and Joey Wright as all worthy candidates to replace him at the Sydney Kings.
Former playing great Gaze ended his three-season stint in charge of the Kings on a disappointing note when they lost 2-0 in semi-final series against Melbourne United on Sunday.
The 53-year-old had previously announced he would return to be closer to his family in Melbourne, sparking speculation of a merry-go-round among the remaining NBL coaches.
Beveridge was quickly installed as favourite to take over at the Kings after parting ways with the Illawarra Hawks.
However, Gleeson and Wright are also proven NBL coaches who are still to be re-contracted by the Perth Wildcats and Adelaide 36ers respectively, prompting speculation either could be on the radar of Kings management.
Gaze believes Sydney couldn’t go wrong with any of them.
“Rob Beveridge is an elite coach, outstanding coach. Trevor Gleeson is a freak with what (Perth) have been able to do. And Joey Wright … they all have extraordinary coaching ability and would do a fantastic job,” Gaze said.
“If it is any one of those that have been rumoured, they’re heading in the right direction.”
Gaze was disappointed not to take his star-studded roster further this season but conceded Melbourne were the superior team in both one-sided semi-final games.
He was pleased to have overseen a period of improvement at Sydney, who reached the finals for the first time in six seasons and drew substantial crowds throughout the current campaign.
Gaze is aware of critics who say he should have done better results-wise given the playing talent at his disposal, including long-serving NBA centre Andrew Bogut, who was crowned MVP in his NBL debut season.
“I understand that there are many out there that would consider my tenure here as unsuccessful,” Gaze said.
“Of course I didn’t get it right every single time, because we’re not holding the trophy and pouring champagne over our head.
“This season, everything I tried to do, I’m at peace with it. The sacrifices you make to do this and looking at it as a whole, I’m very proud of how I exit – to see where we were three years ago to where we are now.”