The Pelicans Look Towards the Future
The New Orleans Pelicans announced that they dismissed head coach Alvin Gentry. Gentry went 175-225 in five seasons, including one playoff appearance. The decision came after the Pelicans failed to capture the eight seed in the West and the mismanagement of Zion Williamson. The Pelicans have a lot to consider as they move forward towards the future.
New Orleans Pelicans Look Towards the Future
Playoff Potential within the Pelicans
The next head coach will inherit a young and talented roster. Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday among others will return next season. It remains to be seen if the Pelicans can retain Brandon Ingram for the long term. Letting go of Gentry could affect his decision once the playoffs end. If the Pelicans can re-sign Ingram, they will be expected to push for the playoffs next season. However, firing Gentry could result in trading Holiday and J.J. Redick, two veteran players who want to win. Redick’s playoff streak was snapped.
Head Coach Needs
The Pelicans need a veteran head coach that can handle young talent. The next head coach must influence the top players to buy into the system. First, he will have to get Willamson under control. Willamson’s lack of preparation proved to be disastrous. He came into the bubble out of basketball shape. Also, Ball needs better coaching. Rumors swirled that Ball was not interested in playing in the bubble. Other players such as Jaxson Hayes and Josh Hart have to step up next season.
Many expect Jason Kidd, Ty Lue, and Kenny Atkinson to be in the running for the position. Also, the Pelicans are interested in Brooklyn Nets’ interim head coach Jacque Vaughn. Vaughn has a promising start, posting a record of 7-3 and had the Nets playing hard. He now looks to coach them into upsetting the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs. The favorite out of the group should be Ty Lue. Lue was in charge of the Cleveland Cavaliers when they won the NBA Finals in 2016. Players have tremendous respect for him. Lue’s presence in New Orleans could prompt Ingram into staying.