Could Sixers Lose Ime Udoka to New Orleans Pelicans?

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Last offseason, former NBA journeyman Ime Udoka wrapped up a seven-year stint coaching alongside Greg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs' organization. A promotion was in store for Udoka, who was signing on with the Philadelphia 76ers to become Brett Brown's top assistant ahead of the 2019-2020 NBA season.

Unfortunately, after the Sixers' 2020 playoff run ended with disappointing results, Philly's front office decided to fire Brett Brown, ending a seven-year stint with him as the head coach. At that point, it became unclear if Udoka was going to stay on board or not. Since Brown's departure in August, the Sixers considered a handful of candidates for the vacant head coaching position.

By default, Udoka was one of several coaches to get consideration from Elton Brand and the Sixers' Managing Partners. Ultimately, Udoka lost out on the job as the Sixers strongly considered veteran coaches such as Ty Lue, Billy Donovan, and Mike D'Antoni before eventually hiring Doc Rivers.

As expected, Rivers is making changes to his staff -- but Udoka will remain on board for the time being. For the last few months, it seemed Udoka could part ways with the Sixers as he garnered interviews for other head coaching positions around the league when the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls were in the market.

But Udoka lost out on the Knicks and the Bulls jobs, and he could essentially lose his status as the top assistant for the Sixers as Rivers recently hired former Sacramento Kings head coach Dave Joerger. 

Whether Udoka will move on or not is still unknown, but according to a report from HoopsHype's Michael Scotto, new Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy has Udoka "under consideration." While Udoka isn't the lone candidate on Van Gundy's radar, his experience with two playoff-caliber organizations does make him an intriguing candidate for teams who are forming a new staff.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_