The New Orleans Pelicans are looking for a new head coach to take over for Monty Williams, who was fired last week. Here are the top candidates to replace him:
There have been numerous reports all season that there is a growing rift between Thibodeau and Chicago's front office, and after the Bulls' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs, he appears to be on his way out. He still has two years left on his deal so Chicago is trying to trade him, which could scare New Orleans off. However, the Pelicans are very, very, very interested in him.
There are rumors that Calipari wants to move to the NBA for the right job, and the Pelicans are hoping the idea of teaming up with former Wildcat Anthony Davis appeals to him. New Orleans is already a playoff team, and Calipari should be able to convince a few key free agents to join him and Davis with his recruiting prowess.
Jackson spent this season as a broadcaster after serving as head coach of the Warriors from 2011-2014, guiding them from 23 wins to 51 wins in just three seasons. He was fired due to clashes between him and front office, but there’s no doubt about his success on the sidelines. His track record of turning a struggling young team into one of the best in the Western Conference is very appealing to the Pelicans.
Brooks was fired by the Thunder after they failed to make the postseason, but his resume is nearly unparalleled. He made the playoffs in five of his seven seasons in OKC, and won Coach of the Year in 2010. New Orleans is intrigued by his success in the Western Conference and postseason experience.
Del Negro has also been out of coaching since the 2012-13 season, when he was leading the Los Angeles Clippers. He coached the Chicago Bulls from 2008-10 and the Clippers from 2010-13, and only missed the postseason once during his coaching career. Del Negro helped turn Los Angeles into a playoff team, and has the kind of extended playoff experience the Pelicans are looking for.
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