The Pelicans have told coach Alvin Gentry they will pick up their team option on his contract for next season, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. Gentry was given the good news prior to the team’s sweep of the Trail Blazers in the opening round of the playoffs, Wojnarowski adds.
Gentry’s job status was tenuous at best coming into the season. The team’s brass didn’t decide until mid-May last year to bring him back as the head coach. When the Pelicans got off to a slow start, the heat ramped up on Gentry.
Thanks to a banner season from MVP candidate Anthony Davis, the Pelicans turned things around and qualified for the playoffs despite the season-ending injury to DeMarcus Cousins. After finishing 22 and 14 games below .500 during Gentry’s first two seasons as head coach, the Pelicans had a 48-34 record. Then, behind Davis and the guard duo of Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo, the Pelicans stunned the third-seeded Blazers to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.
Gentry was the Warriors’ top assistant prior to signing a four-year, $13.7MM contract with the Pelicans in May 2015. He had previous stints as the head coach of the Pistons, Clippers and Suns.