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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Articles tagged: New Orleans Pelicans

Alvin Gentry fired as Pelicans head coach

The New Orleans Pelicans are in the hunt for a new head coach.

As first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez of ESPN, the Pelicans have fired coach Alvin Gentry after five seasons.

The decision to move on from Gentry doesn’t come as an enormous shock. He had made the playoffs just once in five seasons, falling short this year after going 2-6 in bubble play. In addition, the Pelicans brought in a new basketball operations department last season headed by David Griffin. That group did not hire Gentry, but inherited him, making his position somewhat tenuous unless he brought quick success.

The Pelicans’ job should be of major interest to head coaching candidates, as they have a good young core led by last year’s top pick Zion Williamson. We have already heard of two fairly big names who were linked to the role even before Gentry’s dismissal.

Report: Pelicans could pursue Ty Lue, Jason Kidd as head coach candidates

The New Orleans Pelicans may or may not make a coaching change this offseason, but it sounds like they have some names in mind if they do go in another direction.

Current coach Alvin Gentry has one year remaining on his contract, and the Pelicans may not see the 65-year-old as the right long-term fit to help the organization build around Zion Williamson. With that in mind, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, executive vice president David Griffin is eyeing Clippers assistant Ty Lue and Lakers assistant Jason Kidd as possible replacements.

Griffin has ties to both coaches. Kidd played for the Phoenix Suns while Griffin worked for the organization and has impressed as a Lakers assistant. Lue and Griffin won a championship together with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pelicans even reportedly tried to make Lue Gentry’s lead assistant last offseason.

There are plenty of reasons why the Pelicans job would be a desirable one. Griffin is an accomplished roster builder, while the prospect of coaching Williamson would be an exciting one for any potential head coach. Expect it to be a hot job opening if it does become available.

Pelicans screwed on missed shot clock violation in loss to Nets

Alvin Gentry

The New Orleans Pelicans were screwed on a missed shot clock violation in their overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

The game was tied at 93 in the final seconds and the Nets had the ball. Spencer Dinwiddie missed a shot that went off the backboard and did not hit the rim. A shot clock violation should have been called, giving the Pelicans a possession. Instead, nothing was called, and New Orleans scrambled to heave up a shot because the clock kept running.

The game went to overtime tied at 93, and Brooklyn went on to win 108-101.

So why couldn’t the Pelicans get a review? Officials ruled the ball hit the rim and that there wasn’t a shot clock violation.

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry was frustrated at the lack of a review.

New Orleans shot a dismal 34.3 percent on the game and has now slipped to 6-22 on the season. Blown calls like that are not helping their efforts.

Report: Pelicans open to trading Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday

The New Orleans Pelicans have — somewhat predictably — begun to fall apart now that Anthony Davis is no longer with the team, and that may lead to them trading another star veteran in the coming weeks.

The Pelicans are now open to trading Jrue Holiday, Marc Stein of the New York Times reports. Aside from Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and JJ Redick, they are apparently open to moving any player in the right deal.

New Orleans has lost 12 straight games to fall to 6-21 on the season. If they think it’s going to take them a few years to rebuild around Williamson and Ingram, trading Holiday makes sense. He’s been an important part of their team in recent years and is averaging an impressive 19.4 points, 6.8 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game, but he is 29 and making more than $25 million this season and next season. Holiday holds a player option on his contract for 2021-22.

The Pelicans were hoping the additions of Williamson, Ingram and Lonzo Ball could help keep them competitive without Davis, but that has not panned out. They are arguably the worst team in the NBA, though that could change when Williamson eventually makes his regular season debut.

7 most improved NBA teams of the offseason

The NBA offseason was one for the ages. A crazy amount of top-end talent changed teams, either by trades or free agency decisions. Six of the 15 players to make All-NBA teams last season are now part of new franchises. The draft has passed, so have many trades, and teams are finally starting to get settled as they prepare for the upcoming season. That means we can assess which teams have improved the most entering the 2019-20 seasons.

Here are seven teams who have done the most to improve themselves over the course of the NBA offseason.

7. Indiana Pacers

The Pacers weathered Victor Oladipo’s absence fairly well last season, winning 48 games and finishing fifth in the conference. Oladipo should be back this season, and the Pacers have made moves to improve the supporting cast around him. The big move was adding restricted free agent Malcolm Brogdon from the Milwaukee Bucks. Other additions like Jeremy Lamb and T.J. Warren will provide forward depth. With Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner already holding down the frontcourt and Oladipo expected back sometime around the start of 2020, they’ll be a formidable bunch, despite the loss of Bojan Bogdanovic.

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Zion Williamson’s presence nets Pelicans 20 nationally televised games

Zion Williamson

It’s fair to say that despite the presence of Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans have not been a national TV staple in recent NBA seasons. That will change with a vengeance in 2019-20.

The NBA’s schedule release Monday revealed that the Pelicans will have 20 nationally televised games between ESPN, TNT, and ABC. Their two ABC games will be their first on that network since 2009, while three of their first five games will be shown to a national audience.

This is unprecedented for the Pelicans, and numbers like that would be more associated with big-name NBA franchises like the Los Angeles Lakers or Golden State Warriors. It’s pretty much all down to Williamson, but it’s worth remembering the young players the franchise has acquired to complement him who are excited to get a taste of playing with him.

JJ Redick agrees to two-year deal with Pelicans

The Philadelphia 76ers are losing another key piece of their roster to free agency.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Redick has agreed to a two-year, $26.5 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, joining up with one of the league’s most intriguing young teams.

It’s a significant loss for the 76ers, who relied on Redick as a big part of their offense, and not just for his perimeter shooting ability. It’s also a very nice addition for the Pelicans, as Redick joins Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, and Brandon Ingram in the overhauled roster. They’ll contend for a playoff spot and will be one of the most interesting teams in the league to watch this season.

Report: Pelicans interested in Al Horford

Al Horford

The New Orleans Pelicans are still looking to boost their frontcourt as free agency prepares to open Sunday.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Pelicans are interested in center Al Horford, but are unsure if they will manage to be the highest bidder.

Horford raised some eyebrows on Saturday when he followed Pelicans stars Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday on Instagram, which sparked the rumors.

The Pelicans would be expected to face stiff competition for Horford’s services, but they’re clearly in the market for a veteran big man who can play alongside Williamson. Horford would be an ideal fit, but there is the danger of them being priced out.

Report: Pelicans could have interest in Marc Gasol if he opts out

The New Orleans Pelicans may not be done with their busy offseason overhaul.

According to Fletcher Mackel of WDSU, the Pelicans have discussed pursuing center Marc Gasol if he becomes a free agent. The big catch is that Gasol would have to opt out of his contract with the Toronto Raptors, which may be unlikely.

Gasol could be a productive player, plus a veteran mentor to the likes of Zion Williamson on what will be a young squad. If nothing else, it’s a sign that the Pelicans aren’t quite done despite a very busy and successful offseason whether Gasol becomes available or not.

Alvin Gentry makes teasing reference to Anthony Davis when discussing trade haul

Alvin Gentry

The NBA world is generally in agreement that the New Orleans Pelicans did exceptionally well in resetting their franchise as a result of the Anthony Davis trade.

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry certainly seems pleased. After all, the team landed Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and the fourth overall pick in the draft in exchange for Davis. They proceeded to flip the 4th pick for the 8th, 17th, and 35th picks, in addition to drafting Zion Williamson first overall.

Gentry was happy to remark on how well his team did — while simultaneously seeming to throw some shade Davis’ way.

During the Pelicans’ final regular season game — and his final game as a member of the team — Davis famously showed up wearing a rather fitting shirt. While funny, it’s easy to see why some with the Pelicans were a little put off by it, and now they’re willing to at least laugh about it…sort of.