Pelicans HC Rumors: NOP Eye Nets' Jacque Vaughn, Bucks' Charles Lee

Adam WellsJune 22, 2021

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

As the New Orleans Pelicans continue their search for a new head coach, two prominent assistant coaches are reportedly going to meet with the team. 

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pelicans have received permission to interview Jacque Vaughn of the Brooklyn Nets and Charles Lee of the Milwaukee Bucks. 

After Stan Van Gundy's firing on June 16, Wojnarowski reported New Orleans' list of potential replacements included Vaughn, Lee, Nets assistant Ime Udoka and Lakers assistant Jason Kidd. 

All four of those candidates were also considered by the Pelicans last year before the team ultimately decided to hire Van Gundy. 

Vaughn has previous head coaching experience on his resume. He took over the Nets on an interim basis in March 2020 after Kenny Atkinson stepped down. 

Nets head coach Steve Nash retained Vaughn as an assistant for the 2020-21 season. The 46-year-old has been a member of Brooklyn's coaching staff for the past five seasons. 

Prior to joining the Nets, Vaughn went 65-161 in 226 games as head coach of the Orlando Magic from 2012-15. The former point guard became an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs in 2010 after his 12-year playing career ended.  

Lee has been one of Mike Budenholzer's top lieutenants dating back to their time together with the Atlanta Hawks. The 36-year-old is in his third season as a Bucks assistant after working with the Hawks from 2014-18. 

There's a lot riding on the Pelicans front office getting this coaching hire right. This will be the franchise's third different head coach in three seasons. Van Gundy succeeded Alvin Gentry, who was in charge for five seasons.

Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and William Guillory of The Athletic reported last week that some members of Zion Williamson's family would like to see the 20-year-old play for a different organization. 

There was no indication in the report that Williamson shares the feelings of his family members at this point. 

Van Gundy led the Pelicans to a 31-41 record this season. They finished 11th in the Western Conference standings and missed the play-in tournament.