With Ty Lue and Stan Van Gundy being named as likely finalists to replace Alvin Gentry as head coach in New Orleans, current Pelicans assistant Chris Finch has emerged as the early frontrunner to be the next head coach for the Pacers, reports The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.
Prior to joining Gentry’s staff in New Orleans, Finch followed a similar career path to that of Toronto’s Nick Nurse, winning at every level and coaching all over in Europe, including the British National Team, before later becoming a head coach in the G League and an assistant with the Houston Rockets (2011-2016) and Denver Nuggets (2016-17). Earlier this summer, at the time when Gentry was dismissed, it seemed as though Finch could potentially be in line for an in-house promotion in New Orleans — a subtle tidbit which seems notable given that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski today reported that Van Gundy had emerged “as one of four expected finalists” for the franchise’s coaching job while never making specific mention of the rest of the names in contention aside from Lue.
“We feel very strongly about the quality of staff we have,” said Pelicans VP David Griffin. “Some of those individuals potentially will be head coaching candidates elsewhere, Chris Finch certainly among them. He’ll be part of our conversation moving forward and it’s our intention that many of our staffers will continue to be with the next regime at some point.”
Meanwhile, according to Miami Heat Beat, Heat assistants Chris Quinn and Dan Craig, who is also expected to receive consideration from the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder, are finally set to interview for the Pacers this week, which could perhaps shake up the search.
Per O’Connor, Chauncey Billups and Dave Joerger have also recently been in conversation with the Pacers, with the latter reportedly underwhelming during the interview process.