Pelicans Rumors: Stan Van Gundy, Tyronn Lue Emerge as Finalists for HC Job

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2020

Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy is seen during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The New Orleans Pelicans have scheduled meetings with Stan Van Gundy and Tyronn Lue for their coaching vacancy, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Van Gundy will meet with the Pelicans on Tuesday, and Lue will speak with the team later in the week.

New Orleans might have a fight on its hands to hire Lue.

Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon reported the Los Angeles Clippers assistant has "gathered significant momentum" following a meeting with the Houston Rockets, and he remains a candidate for the Clippers' gig.

"Lue's candidacy has the support of prominent players on both teams, sources said," the report said, which added he's leading the pack to replace Doc Rivers in Los Angeles.

Van Gundy was linked with the Rockets and Clippers as well.

Because of Lue's previous connection with the Clips, Van Gundy might be a more realistic target for the Pelicans.

The 61-year-old has compiled a 523-384 record over 11-plus seasons in charge of the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons.

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The Magic won the Eastern Conference in 2009, and we'll never truly know whether Van Gundy could've guided the Heat to the NBA championship in 2006 because Pat Riley replaced him in the middle of the season.

The Pistons only made one playoff appearance in his four years there, but his reign in Detroit served as another cautionary tale for teams that give coaches total control of basketball operations.

Van Gundy wouldn't have that kind of authority in New Orleans with David Griffin entrenched as the executive vice president of basketball operations.

The Pelicans will be an attractive franchise for Van Gundy or another coach looking for a job.

Griffin was the architect of a championship-winning squad with the Cleveland Cavaliers and was instrumental in maintaining some level of harmony behind the scenes. The Pelicans couldn't build a true contender around Anthony Davis, but Griffin may ensure the same thing doesn't happen with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram as the centerpieces.