Report: Alvin Gentry's 2020-21 Contract Option Picked Up by Pelicans

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry encourages his team in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in New Orleans, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld)
Scott Threlkeld/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans have picked up the team option for head coach Alvin Gentry, keeping him under contract through the 2020-21 season, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN.com.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke down the mindset behind the move:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

David Griffin has believed Alvin Gentry’s style of play fits the personnel he’s assembling with Pels — and now commits to another year on his coach’s contract. https://t.co/aucDgyWIxv

There is uncertainty within the organization after reportedly dealing away Anthony Davis, but new additions Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart—as well as the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the 2019 draft—could provide the team with an interesting young core going into 2019-20.

By picking up Gentry's option, the organization takes the pressure off him to win now and can instead focus on developing the young talent for the future.

The Pelicans were certainly a disappointment on the court last season, finishing with a 33-49 record to finish 13th in the Western Conference. In four years under Gentry, the squad has only once won more than 35 games in a season.

However, the 2017-18 campaign showed what was possible, as the 48-win squad reached the second round of the playoffs before losing to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors.

The 64-year-old has coached in the NBA since 1989 and been the head coach in five organizations.

With Gentry's knack for pushing the tempo—the Pelicans ranked third in pace last season, per Basketball Reference—players like Ball, Jrue Holiday and presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson can shine for this squad next season.