Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has been talking with Van Gundy for weeks about a potential split. The two sides finalized that split on Wednesday morning.
In his only season as the head coach of the Pelicans, Van Gundy had a 31-41 record. Despite all the talent on their roster, the Pelicans were unable to make the playoffs or play-in tournament.
Now that Van Gundy is out, New Orleans will have to search for a new head coach for the second offseason in a row.
ESPN Sources with @_Andrew_Lopez: After one season, Stan Van Gundy is out as the New Orleans Pelicans coach.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 16, 2021
Wojnarowski said the Pelicans may circle back to some of their coaching candidates from last year’s search, such as Jacque Vaughn, Ime Udoka, Charles Lee and Jason Kidd.
New Orleans could also hire an in-house candidate to replace Van Gundy. Marc Stein of the New York Times is reporting that assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon is going to be considered for the job.
Pelicans assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon is expected to emerge as a candidate to replace Stan Van Gundy in New Orleans, league sources say.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 16, 2021
All that matters now is that New Orleans picks the right candidate for the job. It can’t afford to waste another year of Zion Williamson.
The Pelicans are the fifth NBA team to fire their coach this year, joining the Celtics, Magic, Pacers and Trail Blazers.