We at Basketball Society were surprised to hear that Monty Williams was let go following the New Orleans Pelican first round loss to the Golden State Warriors. They are young team with a bright future ahead of them, and it seemed like Williams was finally turning the corner.
He has since been fired, and the coaching vacancy has yet to be filled.
Scott Skiles is an experienced NBA coach who has been considered for the Orlando Magic job as well, being he was a former player for them.
According to Marc Stein, his name is emerging as a candidate for the Pelicans coaching vacancy.
“Scott Skiles has unexpectedly emerged as a candidate for the New Orleans Pelicans’ vacant coaching position, according to league sources…. Skiles also has a longtime admirer in the New Orleans organization in Pelicans general manager Dell Demps, who played for Skiles when he coached in Greece.”
As a defensive minded coach, Skiles has had playoff success with his old teams the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks. I think this would be a great hire for a team that has one of the best big man defenders in Anthony Davis. The confusing part to me is that general manager Dell Demps is hesitant to bring in Tom Thibodeau, because he already had a strong minded coach in Monty Williams. Skiles reminds me of the same coaching style.
It will be interesting to see what the Pelicans do here because they have plenty of other options they can go with, including NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy, who would be an even more surprising hire to me.