Report: Pelicans interviewed Vinny Del Negro for head coaching position


The Pelicans vacant head coaching job is easily the most desirable in the league.

Anthony Davis is arguably a top-three player in the league already, and will be under contract in New Orleans for the next several seasons.

Because of that, there are several candidates interested in the position — most of which would seem to be stronger choices than the one who interviewed for the position most recently.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Vinny Del Negro discussed the New Orleans Pelicans coaching vacancy with general manager Dell Demps, league sources told Yahoo Sports. …

Former Houston Rockets and New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and Golden State assistant Alvin Gentry are the frontrunners for the job, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Del Negro emerged as a candidate based upon his successful five-year run as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers.

Van Gundy and Gentry are both better-suited to lead the Pelicans than Del Negro, but there is a scenario where a lesser candidate could unexpectedly come away with the job.

It’s all about control of the decision-making process. Van Gundy would likely want to have a strong say in personnel decisions, similar to what his brother Stan got when he accepted the dual roles of president and head coach of the Pistons. And Gentry, who led the Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2010 (which, by the way, was the last time Phoenix made the playoffs) was let go midseason in 2013, partly because of a disagreement with the front office over the importance of winning immediately versus developing players for the future.

Del Negro would likely be good with less of a say, and that may sit better with Demps — even though the GM hasn’t done much over the last few seasons (aside from the no-brainer choice to draft Davis) to lead us to believe that he actually knows what’s best for the the franchise.