Will Ty Lue take over a head coaching job before next season? Photo by @HoopsRumors (Twitter)
- Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson are among the favorites to succeed Alvin Gentry as New Orleans Pelicans head coach
- Expectations are high for the Pels in the coming season despite disappointment in the bubble
- Get the latest Pelicans head coach odds and betting discussion below
In an unsurprising development, Tyronn Lue and Jason Kidd are two of the favorites for an NBA head coaching vacancy. The New Orleans Pelicans relieved Alvin Gentry of his duties after their struggles in the seeding games and are looking to go in a new direction.
Lue is the favorite to take over the Brooklyn Nets. He is currently working as Doc Rivers’ assistant on the Los Angeles Clippers, but is expected to return to head coaching work in the near future.
Kidd is Lue’s rival in Los Angeles with the Lakers, and looks like he could be rivalling him for this job. With both likely to be committed to their respective teams deep into the playoffs, it could be some time before there’s progress with the Pelicans’ search for a new head coach.
New Orleans Pelicans Next Head Coach Odds
|Jeff Van Gundy||+600|
|Wes Unseld Jr.||+1000|
Odds taken August 17th
Griffin Connection to Lue
Where Lue has happy memories of working with Kyrie Irving, which could make the Brooklyn job appealing, he has a long history with David Griffin, too. The Cavaliers connection is clearly a factor for bettors to consider. Griffin has been bold, and of course fortunate, during his short tenure in New Orleans – could he look to bring in a familiar face?
Lue had to deal with the LeBron James circus in Cleveland. He kept a locker room of massive personalities together and he navigated through a grotesque amount of media attention.
He eventually led Cleveland to the promised land, a first NBA title, beating the best regular season team in league history. Obviously, no other candidate can come close to that.
It seems too simplistic to suggest Griffin hire the man he’s worked with in the past. Maybe it is, maybe Lue isn’t Griffin’s first choice for the job, but early reporting claims he’s one of the ‘prime candidates’.
Clippers assistant coach Ty Lue and Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd are expected to be prime candidates for the Pelicans’ coaching vacancy, league sources say, with Lue and Kidd also both on the Nets’ list of prospective candidates when Brooklyn’s search starts in earnest soon
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 15, 2020
LeBron’s Cavs and these Pelicans are far from identical, but Zion Williamson will face a LeBron-level of media coverage. His coach will be under the microscope like few others are in this league. Lue has shown he can deal with that pressure.
As Brooklyn’s head coach search goes along in parallel, this could yet come down to what Lue wants. The Nets are supposedly closer to title contention, but it’s likely a short window. The Pelicans could be a team for him to develop, to make his own away from the difficult world of Kevin Durant and Irving.
Ty Lue looms large for contenders in the coaching marketplace – with the possibility of an additional championship asset on his staff: Chauncey Billups. https://t.co/P8i4tMecDD
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 15, 2020
He turned down the Lakers last year. Lue isn’t going to jump at any head coaching opportunity that falls his way – will a reunion with Griffin convince him?
Kidd Living off His Playing Days
Kidd’s time as Nets head coach was nothing spectacular. It was up and down in Milwaukee too. How Mike Budenholzer has done doesn’t reflect well on what Kidd achieved with the Bucks, and most notably, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Despite only a so-so head coaching record in his career so far, Kidd continues to be considered a favorite for any open head coaching job.
Perhaps the success of the Lakers this year has enhanced Kidd’s reputation. That seems like a bit of a push, however. His role in Antetokounmpo’s development is obviously a bit of an unknown – if the Pels think he transformed Antetokounmpo from developing talent into unstoppable MVP, they could be looking to bring him in to do something similar with their young players.
Lonzo Ball, in particular, is a player who could benefit greatly from working with Kidd – a fellow oversized, pass-first point guard.
There’s logic in appointing Kidd, though it would be a relative gamble given what others have achieved. If New Orleans think they can seriously compete next year, they might best off looking elsewhere.
2020 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Impossible to Ignore Atkinson
Kenny Atkinson is the favorite to take over the Chicago Bulls job – he’s rightly in the mix for every team that could change head coach. How he left the Nets wasn’t pretty, but there’s no denying that he’s a very good head coach.
Being branded as a player development coach is not always good news in the NBA. In Atkinson’s case, it could work against him for certain jobs, and this might be one of them.
Kenny Atkinson’s resume is on the floor in Orlando. Joe Harris is more than a shooter. Caris LeVert is a budding star. Jarrett Allen is a starting caliber center.
— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) August 10, 2020
The Pelicans, armed with Williamson and Most Improved candidate Brandon Ingram, will think they can compete right away. Developing their young talents is clearly key, but they may be looking for a coach with a more proven record of winning.
Another alternative, however, is former Spurs assistant Ime Udoka. Working alongside Gregg Popovich is a good way to earn an NBA head coaching job, and Udoka has spent this season in charge of the Sixers’ defense, alongside fellow Popovich alum Brett Brown.
Udoka has caught the eye in Philadelphia, trying different things on the defensive end. He’s a name to watch out for here given the Pelicans’ defensive struggles this season.
As @wojespn reported last week, two names expected to be in the search are Ty Lue and Jason Kidd.
Another name to watch – if the Nets don’t retain him – is Brooklyn’s Jacque Vaughn. https://t.co/wlqGMtxBCo
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) August 15, 2020
It makes sense for Lue to be the favorite, though that price is a bit short given the lure of the Nets and the possibility that he remains as Rivers’ assistant.
Udoka represents good value here. Griffin appointed Lue as a first-time head coach in Cleveland – he could do the same with Udoka in New Orleans.
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.