Could Terry Stotts stay in the West and seek revenge on the Portland Trail Blazers?
One of the best coaching opportunities that may be opening up resides in New Orleans and it’s not for the Saints. The New Orleans Pelicans just came off a disappointing season where they did not qualify for a play-in spot with a 31-41 record.
Stan Van Gundy was brought in to replace Alvin Gentry, but only fared one more win for the Pelicans than in their 2019-2020 season. Sure, this could be chalked up to the departure of Jrue Holiday, but New Orleans also added veterans Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, and sharpshooter JJ Reddick, acquisitions that suggest the team was expecting to make the postseason.
The most disappointing part of Van Gundy’s debut season with the Pels was his impact on the defensive end, or lack thereof. While they did lose a super-stopper in Jrue, the Pelicans do have plenty of players capable of locking down, especially since they added Adams and Bledsoe.
Despite his reputation, the Pelicans actually regressed on defense, dropping from the 19th ranked team in defensive efficiency in 2019-2020 to 22nd with SVG on the sidelines.
It seems like SVG is just part of a bygone era in the NBA, and it probably won’t be long before the Pelicans brass realizes this.
If the job opens up, Stotts would be entering a great situation with New Orleans if he were to get the job. The Pelicans already have a strong young core with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball on the roster. They also have a cache of future draft capital between picks they acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks in the Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday trades.
While it may be a scary thought to envision Coach Stotts returning to the Moda Center with Zion and BI in tow, there’s absolutely nowhere else I’d rather see him go.
Wherever coach ends up next, we wish him nothing but the best.