The New Orleans Pelicans are one of two teams currently still with a head coaching vacancy, along with the Washington Wizards, but that will apparently be changing soon.
There has been some steady reporting in the last week-plus that the Pelicans were focusing their search on Suns assistant Willie Green and Bucks assistant Charles Lee, both of whom are, of course, busy with the NBA Finals currently and, as such, the Pelicans can’t make much official until that ends. However, it seems they have made their selection between the two of them, as Fletcher Mackel of WDSU in New Orleans reported Sunday that Green was the choice, although a deal is not yet finalized.
I continue to hear from NBA sources Suns assistant coach Willie Green is the presumed next Pelicans head coach.
While a deal is NOT done, plenty of mutual interest and I’m told, “Willie wants the New Orleans job and they want him.” pic.twitter.com/C7cNUMhDfy
— Fletcher Mackel (@FletcherWDSU) July 11, 2021
That was confirmed on Monday by conspicuously closely timed tweets from Woj and Shams, who offered the same reporting that Green was the frontrunner and the job would be his so long as he still wants it.
Phoenix Suns assistant Willie Green has emerged as the strong frontrunner and the New Orleans Pelicans’ choice to become the franchise’s next head coach, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2021
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 12, 2021
Green, who had a lengthy NBA career with the Sixers, Hawks, Clippers, Magic, and Pelicans, spent time on the Warriors coaching staff from 2016-19 before joining Monty Williams on the bench in Phoenix, where he’s been credited with helping construct the Suns defense. Green was always a well liked and respected player in the locker room, and that ability to connect with players is likely something the Pelicans are banking on with their roster of young stars like Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, mixed with a number of veterans with the hopes of winning sooner than later.