Alvin Gentry Rumors: Pelicans Must Show 'Significant Progress' to Save Job

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2017

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry calls out from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in New Orleans, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry's job may be jeopardy if the team does not show "significant" progress in the seasons' final month.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported Wednesday that Gentry and general manager Dell Demps could be on the chopping block. The Pelicans have continued to struggle since acquiring DeMarcus Cousins at the All-Star break, with Cousins so far proving an awkward fit next to Anthony Davis.

A league source told Deveney:

There’s some feeling in the front office the record being what it is, the writing is on the wall. Might as well make a change in April and start searching. But is that really fair? Can’t you give Dell an offseason to get some shooters, give Alvin some time to remake the offense? They’ve at least got to give this playoff spot a run and that might buy more time. That’s sort of where it stands.

New Orleans is 4-6 since the All-Star break but has won its last two games. Cousins' numbers are down markedly across the board in his nine-game sample with the Pelicans (he was suspended one game), averaging nearly seven fewer points per game than he did in Sacramento.

Gentry, 62, is in his second season with the Pelicans. His roster has been ravaged by injuries for much of that time, but he's done little to engender much faith. New Orleans is 57-92 under his watch heading into Wednesday's game against the Miami Heat. This would be his 10th losing season in parts of 14 years as an NBA head coach; Gentry has long been renowned as one of the league's top assistants when not running a team.

If anything, it's the poor roster construction of Demps that may wind up saving Gentry's job. The Pelicans have three above-average NBA starters (Cousins, Davis and Jrue Holiday) and not a lot else. They've lavished contracts on Omer Asik, Solomon Hill and E'Twaun Moore, only to see them go bust almost immediately.

With Holiday set to be a free agent this summer and little financial wiggle room, it's hard to see how New Orleans makes massive strides on its roster. Either way, Gentry might not be around to help figure things out.