Thursday 21st March 2019,

New Orleans Pelicans Interview Jeff Van Gundy for Coaching Vacancy

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game OneThe New Orleans Pelicans may be done waiting on the Chicago Bulls to free Tom Thibodeau.

Although the Bulls’ head honcho has been linked to all three current NBA head-coaching vacancies, Chicago’s front office appears hell-bent on ensuring he doesn’t coach next season and is holding him in their keep until all the job wells have dried up. That, or they’re hoping to get compensation for his services, which they won’t, because everyone knows they want to fire him.

Anyhow, the Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans cannot wait around forever. The Pelicans themselves have already interviewed current Golden State Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry. Now, they appear to have added Jeff Van Gundy to their pool of options.

From Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:

The New Orleans Pelicans’ coaching search is gathering momentum, a process that included a formal interview Tuesday with Jeff Van Gundy, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Van Gundy, one of the NBA’s top available coaches, and New Orleans officials met in the Bay Area to discuss the opening. The sides had spoken over the phone, but this was the first face-to-face meeting, league sources said.

For now, New Orleans officials and Van Gundy are beginning the process of getting to know each other. Van Gundy had traveled to the Bay Area for his role as a television analyst for the Western Conference finals.

Van Gundy hasn’t coached in the NBA since 2006-07, when he guided the Houston Rockets to 52 victories. Now a color commentator for ESPN, he’s still viewed as one of the top defensive minds out there. He’s also been targeted for openings in the past.

While his offensive methods in today’s pace-and-space NBA may be a question, defense was the Pelicans’ biggest issue. They have the talent to get by on individual offensive playmaking alone, though you can also bet Van Gundy, who ranks somewhere between a traditionalist and realist, will adapt his post-up-heavy offense to meet modern-day formulas.

Gentry and Van Gundy, however, are not alone in their candidacy. Per’s Marc Stein, Scott Skiles is also throwing himself into the mix:

Actually, maybe Gentry and Van Gundy do stand alone.

Per Woj:

One has to imagine the Pelicans will wait until the NBA Finals is over to make any sort of official announcement. Gentry’s Warriors are still playing for a championship, and Van Gundy himself will be calling the Cleveland Cavaliers-Warriors mathcup.

And hey, you never know, maybe Bulls brass ends up releasing Thibodeau from their twisted web, allowing him to enter the fold as well.

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