The Pelicans fired head coach Alvin Gentry on Saturday after the team missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.
Reports of Gentry's departure began swirling before the Pelicans' season-finale loss to the Magic, 133–127, on Thursday. New Orleans was already out of postseason contention and struggled during the NBA's restart, going 2–6 in the bubble. The Pelicans' disappointing year wrapped with a 30–42 season record.
"These types of moves are often about fit and timing," Pelicans basketball operations chief David Griffin said. "We believe now is the right time to make this change and bring in a new voice."
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Andrew Lopez, Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue, Lakers assistant Jason Kidd and former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson are expected to be included in the Pelicans' coaching search. New Orleans reportedly is could be interested in Nets interim head coach Jacques Vaughn as well if Brooklyn doesn't retain him.
Griffin worked with Lue in Cleveland when Lue led the team to its 2016 NBA title as head coach. Griffin also knows Kidd through the Suns, while Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon served as Brooklyn's assistant GM during Atkinson's tenure.
Gentry, 65, came to the Pelicans in 2015 from the Warriors (associate head coach), and led New Orleans to a 175–225 record in five seasons. He dealt with a variety of injuries on his rosters over the years, but still managed to set a record as the only coach in franchise history to have a winning record in the playoffs (5–4).
The Pelicans excused Gentry with one year left on his contract.