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5 Potential Head Coach Candidates for the New Orleans Pelicans

With the recent firing of Alvin Gentry, the New Orleans Pelicans are looking for a new head coach for the future. Teams are making changes to their staff, which could lead to many of these guys looking for a new start. Here are some of the possible options to fill the Pelicans’ head Ccoach void:

Front Runners

Tyronn Lue

Tyronn Lue is currently an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers. Lue has been a coach for almost a decade in the league, but is most known for his stint in Cleveland.  He was the head coach for three and a half seasons.

During this time, he won 60 percent of his games and got the Cavs to the playoffs every year. Alongside the league’s best players, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, they would go on to win the 2015 NBA championship.

Tyronn Lue postgame after NBA Finals/ Getty Images

As the seasons went by, these two players would depart from the team and so did Lue. Lue was fired at the beginning of the 2018 season when his team began with an 0-6 record. As of today, Lue has been in the rumor mill for many teams for his service.

He has been a hot commodity for a minute and head coaching positions are opening up fast. A big concern is if New Orleans could get him before another team will. If the Pelicans hire Lue, he could give New Orleans what they’ve been wanting for years: A coach who could lead their team to a lengthy playoff run.

Jason Kidd

As well as Lue, Jason Kidd is also an assistant coach, but for the Clippers rivals, Los Angeles Lakers. Although Lue has more playoff success than Kidd, Kidd has more head coaching experience than him.

Jason Kidd coaching along side Frank Vogel/ Getty Images

During 2013-2018, Kidd coached for the Brooklyn Nets for a season, then was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks where he coached for four more. Kidd has led his teams to the playoffs three out of five years and made it to the conference semis with the Nets.

With the head coaching resume he has built over the years, it makes sense that he is a top candidate. However, with many other jobs becoming available soon in the future, Kidd could be off the market soon as well. Kidd will be a great second option if Lue gets signed first, if he’s still hasn’t been signed yet.

Jacque Vaughn

Vaughn has been in the league as a coach for a decade now. Since 2010, he has been an assistant coach for the Spurs and Nets while having a brief head coach gig with the Magic. With the Magic, Vaughn struggled ending his three years with the organization with a .269 winning percentage (58-158).

Jacue Vaughn courtside coaching for Brooklyn/ Image courtesy of NBA

Currently, he is the interim coach of the Brooklyn Nets, replacing Kenny Atkinson after he was fired in May. Since then, he has led a Nets team without Kyrie Irving to a 7-3 record in the bubble. Many league execs are looking at him as a head coaching candidate, including the Pelicans. However, he might not be available if the Nets decide to sign him. Depending on his coaching in the playoffs, Vaughn could be looking at another chance to become a head coach in the NBA again.

Wild Cards

Becky Hammon

Although she doesn’t have as much experience as other coaches on this list, Becky Hammon could be a wild card. Becky Hammon is a former WNBA superstar who has been an assistant coach alongside Gregg Popovich for five seasons.

Becky Hammon gives pointers to Patty Mills during free throws./ Getty Images

Since 2015, Popovich, players and many people around the league have had high praise of Hammon. She has even gained many interviews for general manager positions and even head coach for the Bucks in 2017. However, as expressed before, her experience as a coach in the league, plus her gender, could deter organizations from giving her a chance. Hammon will be a head coach in the league someday, but will it be sooner or later? Will she need more time to develop her coaching skills or will New Orleans give her a shot?

 

Mark Jackson

It has been a while since Mark Jackson was a head coach in the league. His last appearance was with the Golden State Warriors for three years from 2011-2014. He has a decent win-loss record and led the young duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to their first playoff appearances.

However, it wasn’t enough to keep his job and Steve Kerr was hired to replace him. For the last couple of years, he has kept himself busy by commentating NBA games since his departure. Jackson’s name has been in many discussions for coaching jobs for a while, but nothing has materialized. Jackson is a solid candidate, but it has been years since he has coached. Can he still do it or has his time passed?

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