Stan Van Gundy has agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans to be their next head coach, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reports it's a four-year deal to replace Alvin Gentry, who was fired after the Pelicans missed the playoffs thanks to a disappointing run at Disney World.
Van Gundy last coached in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons from 2014-18. He was also the president of basketball operations. He most recently worked as an NBA analyst in the bubble.
While Van Gundy didn't have all that much success in the dual role in Detroit, that didn't play a factor in the Pelicans' decision-making process. New Orleans has faith in Van Gundy's ability to develop its young talent:
Pelicans were sold on SVG’s abilities as a teacher with a young roster, his history of building top defensive teams and his vision for the roster in place. His personnel decisions in Detroit was a non-factor in search; he’s coming to coach. https://t.co/XhWcUCIxKo
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 21, 2020
Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are the future in New Orleans, assuming Ingram returns on a long-term deal this offseason. The Pelicans have the talent to contend for a playoff spot in a loaded Western Conference, and they'll be banking on Van Gundy to get the most out of it. The future of Jrue Holiday is also hanging in the balance in New Orleans.
Van Gundy's NBA head coaching career began with the Miami Heat in 2003. He spent two-plus seasons with the Heat before resigning. He then went to the Orlando Magic in 2007 and had a terrific run there, going to the NBA Finals in 2009 before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 61-year-old coach has a regular-season record of 523-384, and a playoff record of 48-43.
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