This weekend, two teams in the Western Conference will compete for an opportunity to get swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and despite all of the hype around the New Orleans Pelicans going into the season’s restart, they won’t be one of the two teams.
After going 4-2 in their first six seeding games, the Pelicans were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday. In the five years that Alvin Gentry has been the Pelicans’ head coach, they’ve only made the playoffs once. For four of those years, the Pelicans had Anthony Davis on their roster.
It’s unclear if Gentry is the source of the Pelicans’ problems, but it seems the team’s front office is looking to make a change anyway. According to a report from William Guillory of The Athletic, Gentry’s time in New Orleans will likely come to an end soon:
The worst-kept secret in the NBA is that Gentry’s time with the Pelicans won’t last much longer. Names of potential replacements have already been floated in the media, and the season isn’t even over yet.
Among the names that have been linked to the Pelicans’ head coaching job over the last week is Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd. On Saturday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Kidd is seen as a likely candidate to replace Gentry because of his ties to Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin:
Executive VP David Griffin and Pelicans ownership have a decision to make with a year left on Gentry’s contract, sources said. Consider two relationships Griffin has back to his front-office days in Cleveland and Phoenix, respectively, if there’s a change in New Orleans: LA Clippers assistant Ty Lue and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, sources said.
Kidd has also “emerged as a candidate” for the Brooklyn Nets head coaching job, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Kidd played for the Nets from for seven seasons and served as their head coach during the 2013-14 season. The Nets went 44-38 under Kidd.
Kidd has already interviewed for one vacant head coaching position this season, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get another formal interview with a team. If Kidd does get hired by another team before the start of next season, there are a handful of notable coaches than could fill his spot on Vogel’s bench, but none that have the type of relationship with LeBron James that he has — well, other than Tyronn Lue, but that’s probably not going to happen for obvious reasons.
Personally, I think the Lakers should offer Kidd for Gentry in another blockbuster trade with the Pelicans. I don’t know if they can do that, but they should try — Gentry and Vogel would be a lot of fun together.