The New Orleans Pelicans have parted ways with head coach Stan Van Gundy after one year, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
Van Gundy, 61, and Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin have been meeting regularly to discuss the future and ending this partnership after just one season started to feel like an inevitable result around the organization, sources told Wojnarowski.
“I would like to thank Stan for the integrity and professionalism that he demonstrated during his time in New Orleans, as well as the commitment and work ethic he brought to our team,” said Griffin. “This was a difficult decision as I have tremendous respect for Stan both personally and professionally, but we agreed it is in the best interest of our team to move forward in a different direction. We wish Stan, Kim and their family all the best in the future.”
The Pelicans finished with a record of 31-41 this past season and did not make the play-in tournament in the Western Conference, despite having expectations with young stars Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
The Pelicans also struggled to close out games, as they lost 14 times when they held a double-digit lead.
In the search for a replacement, the Pelicans are expected to circle back to some candidates from a year ago including Brooklyn Nets assistants Jacque Vaughn and Ime Udoka, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and Los Angeles Lakers assistant Jason Kidd.
Pelicans assistant coach Teresa Weatherspoon is expected to emerge as a candidate to replace Van Gundy as well, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.
The Pelicans become the fifth head coach vacancy in the NBA, joining the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers.