New Orleans faces its first turning point this summer with Anthony Davis, who becomes eligible for a rookie scale extension in July. So, the decision the Pelicans made to fire coach Monty Williams, one that GM Dell Demps reportedly pushed for, runs through the prism of significant negotiations with the team’s superstar on the horizon. Here’s the latest in the wake of the coaching change, with any new updates added to the top:
- Williams released a statement regarding his termination (hat tip to David Aldridge of NBA.com via TwitLonger). In his statement, Williams wrote, “I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Benson and Mickey for this unique opportunity I’ve had. My focus today is to appreciate the great journey over the last few years to be the head coach of this team. New Orleans is a special city with very special fans. I appreciate all the support that my family has received from all the great people and organizations we have been affiliated with throughout the area over the years. I need to thank my coaches and players because we take pride in our accomplishments as a group in progressing in the right direction and making the playoffs through the challenges of a long season. I’ll always be grateful for the relationships and thankful that our players always gave everything we asked of them on the court. I only wish the best for this team to continue taking strides forward and providing success to this special city.”
- Williams isn’t expected to become a candidate for the Nuggets vacancy, according to Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post.
- If the Pelicans lure Thibodeau and the Bulls replace him with Fred Hoiberg, there’s a growing belief that the Cyclones would go after Suns coach Jeff Hornacek, who played at the school and whose contract calls for a lower annual salary than Hoiberg’s, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. However, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders heard that Hoiberg, who underwent open heart surgery last month, might not jump to the NBA because of his health.
- The Pelicans will be at the front of the line of suitors for Tom Thibodeau if indeed New Orleans decides to go after the Bulls coach, given the presence of Davis, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
- Those close to Thibodeau have long seen the Pelicans and the Magic as the teams he’d most likely end up with after his time with the Bulls, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick.
- John Reid of The Times-Picayune wouldn’t be surprised if the Pelicans made a run at former Thunder coach Scott Brooks (Twitter link), but for what it’s worth, the Pelicans didn’t reach out to Brooks before firing Williams, a person with knowledge of Brooks’ situation told Amick.
- There was an obvious disconnect between Williams and Demps from the very start of their working relationship in 2010, writes Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune, who argues that if the Pelicans wanted change, they should have looked at the front office instead.