The New Orleans Pelicans have talked with at least the fourth candidate for the team's vacant head coaching position, according to a Yahoo report, adding another variable to the process of choosing a successor to recently fired head coach Monty Williams.
Pelicans general manager Dell Demps discussed the vacancy, which some view as the most sought-after in the NBA due to the long-term upside of Pelicans star Anthony Davis, with former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro.
On May 18, the Pelicans received permission to interview Golden State Warriors associate head coach Alvin Gentry. The two sides met shortly thereafter. Gentry is still coaching the Warriors, who will play in the NBA finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers beginning June 4.
On Tuesday, the Pelicans interviewed former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy.
A report on May 18 indicated that then-Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was also a leading candidate for New Orleans' vacancy. The Bulls fired Thibodeau Thursday.
Van Gundy and Gentry are believed to be the front-runners for the position, according to the Yahoo report.
Del Negro amassed a 210–184 record over five seasons as a coach. He led the 2011-12 Clippers to the Western Conference semifinals. He served as an assistant general manager with the Phoenix Suns.
He also played for 13 seasons in the NBA with the Suns, as well as the Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors.
New Orleans fired head coach Monty Williams on May 12 despite the five-year coach having improved the team's record over each of the past three seasons, and made the playoffs for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
- Will Green