There are many teams across the league still looking for head coaches, and now that the 2019-20 season has come to an end, the interviews and announcements should ramp up even more. Many of the open spots have been filled, with Ty Lue becoming the latest to land a head coaching gig after he came to an agreement with the Clippers. Lue will be replacing Doc Rivers, who parted ways with the Clippers late last month after seven seasons in L.A. Rivers remains highly respected around the league's landscape, and it was just a matter of days until he agreed to a deal to become the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Both New York squads also brought in new head coaches, with the Nets going with Hall of Fame player Steve Nash in his first coaching gig, while the Knicks went with a veteran in Tom Thibodeau. Elsewhere in the league, the Chicago Bulls scooped up Billy Donovan mere days after he decided not to return as head coach of the Thunder, ending the Jim Boylen era and effectively completing Chicago's offseason of cleaning house.
There are still several jobs available, though, many of which are very enticing opportunities. Until the remaining positions are filled, there will surely be no shortage of rumors piling up with what team is interviewing which coach. To keep all the updates in order, here is the latest coaching news and rumors regarding the open opportunities around the league.
Innovative coach Mike D'Antoni decided he wanted to explore other coaching opportunities outside of Houston soon after the Rockets were bounced in the second round of the playoffs, and is leaving this franchise with an important decision to make. The latest news had the Rockets honing in on Lue, but he's now off the market. The Rockets also interviewed Jeff Van Gundy on Wednesday, and more conversations are expected on Thursday, according to Wojnarowski. Van Gundy coached the Rockets from 2003-2007, and still lives in the Houston area. He has worked as an ESPN broadcaster ever since, and coached Team USA as it qualified for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Other names the Rockets have been rumored to have interest in are Minnesota Timberwolves associate head coach David Vanterpool, Nuggets assistant Wes Unseld Jr. and Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas, per Wojnarowski.
Like the Clippers, the Rockets are in win-now mode, and with so much money tied up in James Harden and Russell Westbrook, this team will basically run it back for next season barring any major trades in the offseason. Whoever steps in will have to enjoy Houston's small-ball ways, too, as the Rockets want to keep the same style of play even though D'Antoni is gone.
Unlike Houston and L.A., New Orleans isn't exactly in a win-now mode with great expectations, but whoever inherits this team will have plenty of talent to work with and an eye toward making the playoffs next season. Zion Williamson is obviously the biggest draw of coaching the Pelicans, and after firing Alvin Gentry, New Orleans will have its pick of a number of high-profile coaches to bring in. The Pelicans settled on some finalists for the position, with Stan Van Gundy and Ty Lue being on the list, but it might now be down to Van Gundy with Lue now coaching the Clippers.
The Pelicans have been playing it close to the vest in who they've been targeting for head coach, as evidenced by the somewhat surprising report that Stan Van Gundy is one of the finalists. Van Gundy hasn't been tied to many coaching jobs in the past few months, unlike his brother, but he has an impressive coaching resume that spans 12 years, most recently a four-year stint with the Detroit Pistons that ended in 2018. He has a career coaching record of 523-384 with the Pistons, Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, and he's made the postseason eight of the 12 years he's been a head coach, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2009 with Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.
After agreeing to give Nate McMillan a contract extension last month, the Pacers ultimately decided they wanted to go in a different direction heading into next season after being swept by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. It was a weird series of events that was really unfortunate for McMillan, but now Indiana is in the market for a new head coach. Pelicans assistant Chris Finch is reportedly a frontrunner for the position, who has drawn comparisons to reigning Coach of the Year Nick Nurse. The team is still conducting interviews, though, and Miami assistants Chris Quinn and Dan Craig will receive interviews, according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor. The Pacers have also already held interviews with former Kings coach Dave Joerger and NBA champion Chauncy Billups, per Wojnarowski.