The Pelicans’ search for their next head coach continues, and the latest person to interview with the team is Scott Skiles, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports. It comes as a bit of a surprise that Skiles sat down with New Orleans, since it had been previously reported that he was the front-runner to replace interim coach James Borrego in Orlando. Pelicans GM Dell Demps, who played for Skiles when he coached in Greece, is an admirer of his, Stein notes.
The 51-year-old Skiles is reportedly the preferred choice of the Magic’s ownership, which has been enamored with him since his stint as a player for the franchise back in the 1990s, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The former point guard also fits the criteria that Magic GM Rob Hennigan has set for the team’s next head coach, which includes having a successful résumé as a coach, and having a strong background on emphasizing defense and accountability. Skiles owns a career regular season coaching record of 443-433, and has a career playoff record of 18-24. He has been a head coach for the Suns, Bulls, and most recently, the Bucks.
New Orleans has also reportedly interviewed Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry, as well as former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, in its search to replace former head coach Monty Williams. The meeting with Van Gundy had been described as very preliminary, with both sides just beginning to get a feel for the other. The Pelicans are reportedly intending to schedule a second meeting with Gentry once the Warriors’ playoff series against the Rockets has been completed. Current Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has also been mentioned as a possibility for the vacancy, though the Pelicans are reportedly reluctant to give up draft pick compensation in return for Thibs, and the Bulls have been rumored to be waiting for all the available coaching positions to be filled before parting ways with him.