Report: Pelicans Head Coaching Search Has Two Frontrunner Candidates
Once the New Orleans Pelicans and former head coach Stan Van Gundy decided to "mutually part ways" (a nice way of firing a coach without technically firing them) back on June 16th, executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin has been interviewing potential candidates for the job.
While various names have been rumored, Pelicans beat writer Christian Clark of The Times-Picayune/The Advocate reports through sources a pair of frontrunners who have emerged.
Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Brooklyn Nets assistant Jacque Vaughn and are the two strong candidates.
Lee, 36, has never been a head coach, but has quickly developed into a strong candidate.
After starring at Bucknell (2002-2006), Lee played professional basketball overseas for 5 years.
Following his playing days, as Clark reports, Lee worked on Wall Street as an equities trader before he got back into basketball.
He began coaching as an assistant as his alma mater, joining Bucknell's staff in 2012. From there, he joined the Atlanta Hawks staff as an assistant (2014-2018), followed by his current tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks (2018 to present).
Vaughn, 46, played a dozen seasons in the NBA, immediately joining the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff as an assistant following his playing career.
He became head coach of the Orlando Magic in 2012, but went 58-158 in a little more than two and a half seasons.
Since his tenure in Orlando ended in 2015, Vaughn has been an assistant with the Nets, and served as interim head coach for 10 games in the bubble in 2020.