Pelicans Notes: Griffin, coaching search, draft, Holiday

Pelicans executive David Griffin answers questions during a recent press conference.

While coaching vacancies begin to be filled around the rest of the NBA, New Orleans Pelicans chief of basketball operations David Griffin continues to take his time and keep the team’s coaching search close to the vest.

Reported candidates Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers) and Tyronn Lue (Los Angeles Clippers) both have jobs elsewhere, narrowing the list of names linked to the Pelicans job.

So far, there has been little buzz — with only former Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and current San Antonio Spurs assistant Will Hardy having been mentioned by national writers as remaining possibilities.

Then again, John Beilein was never mentioned as a possibility for the Cleveland Cavaliers prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, and Beilein ended up there anyway.

So maybe Griffin has a similar surprise in the works. Along with Van Gundy and D’Antoni, Griffin is a known fan of Pelicans assistant Chris Finch, supposedly a finalist for the Indiana Pacers job before it went to Nate Bjorkgren, formerly of the Toronto Raptors.

All we know right now is that the job is undoubtedly coveted. Griffin is one of the most-respected front office men in the league and the roster features the likes of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (assuming he re-signs) and more than a few other reasons for hope.

Here’s more out of New Orleans:

  • Analysts seem to think the Pelicans’ pathway to success is to surround Williamson with perimeter shooting, based on several mock drafts, as relayed by Christian Clark of the New Orleans Advocate. The Pelicans own the No. 13 overall pick in the draft, scheduled for Nov. 18.
  • For the record, the latest Amico Hoops mock draft has the Pelicans selecting Vanderbilt guard/forward Aaron Nesmith — widely considered to be the best 3-point shooter among this year’s prospects.
  • Veteran point guard Jrue Holiday‘s name has been making the rounds on the rumor mill, and the Pelicans may indeed explore moving him prior to the 2020-21 season. Clark identified the Brooklyn Nets as one potential trade partner.
  • By the way, Clark also reported the Pelicans are “close” on filling their coaching vacancy.

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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