The New Orleans Pelicans have themselves a talented young roster and one of the most in-demand head coach vacancies in the NBA after firing Alvin Gentry. It’s not a huge surprise that Pelicans front office head David Griffin is taking his time finding a replacement for Gentry.
We now have some more information on the Pelicans’ search for a new coach. It’s rather interesting stuff.
New Orleans Pelicans interviewing Stan Van Gundy
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, New Orleans is meeting with the former Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons head coach on Tuesday.
This is a somewhat surprising development in that Van Gundy has not had a tremendous amount of recent success as a head coach in the NBA. He was fired by Detroit following the 2017-18 season.
That came after the 61-year-old veteran coach posted a 152-176 record in four seasons with the organization. Prior to this, Van Gundy earned seven playoff appearances in eight combined seasons with the Heat and Magic.
New Orleans Pelicans to interview Tyronn Lue
A later report from Woj noted that this former Cleveland Cavaliers championship-winning coach will interview with New Orleans this week.
This would actually make more sense for the Pelicans. They have a young roster with the likes of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball leading the way. While Lue has more experience working with veteran-laden rosters, the current Clippers assistant would seem like a fine fit.
New Orleans’ interest in Lue comes with him being a prime candidate to replace the recently-ousted Doc Rivers as the Clippers’ next head coach. Lue, 43, posted a 128-83 record in parts of four seasons as the Cavaliers’ head coach. He led he organization to three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, including its first ever title back in 2015-16.
New Orleans Pelicans’ roster looking for fresh blood
Pelicans front office head David Griffin has a relationship with Lue dating back to their time together with the Cavs. However, he’s not going to take said relationship into account. In reality, this is the most-important coaching search of Griffin’s career.
Many fans were excited when New Orleans was invited to return to the 2019-20 NBA season at Walt Disney World in Orlando this past July. The team had an outside shot of earning a playoff appearance. It did not come to fruition, primarily due to COVID-related issues surrounding those close to Zion Williamson.
Despite the overall team struggles in recent seasons, New Orleans is loaded up and down the roster. It has two All-Star players in Jrue Holiday and Brandon Ingram. The Pelicans also boast a generational talent in that of Williamson and a vastly improved Lonzo Ball.
Griffin needs to get this hire right. It’s that simple.