The Indiana Pacers are hiring Rick Carlisle as head coach on a four-year, $29 million contract, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
The Pacers, who worked “quietly and quickly” to get this deal done with Carlisle, had planned to start interviews with several candidates in Chicago this week, notes Adrian Wojnarowski.
It will be a reunion for Carlisle, as he was a top assistant to Larry Bird early in his coaching career with the Pacers from 1997-2000.
Carlisle, who coached the Mavericks for 13 years and led the franchise to a championship in 2011, stepped down on June 17.
The 61-year-old has a coaching record of 836-689, ranking No. 15 in career wins by a head coach in NBA history.
Carlisle will be tasked with getting the Pacers back to the playoffs with a roster led by Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren.
The Pacers still may choose to shake up some of their roster, as center Myles Turner could be a potential trade candidate this offseason.
“It’s a team of skilled, unselfish guys that play hard,” Carlisle told MacMahon. “It’s always possible that moves could be made before the season, but I think [GM Kevin Pritchard] and I are both very excited about getting the roster healthy and seeing what this team can be.”
Now that the Pacers and Boston Celtics (Ime Udoka) have filled their head coaching vacancies, the Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers are the five remaining teams currently looking for a new head coach.