Pacers Identify 14 Head Coaching Candidates

The Pacers are set to begin a wide-ranging search for a head coach that will include more than a dozen candidates, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As Wojnarowski details, Indiana is looking to interview the following candidates as the team seeks a replacement for Nate McMillan:

  • Former Kings and Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger
  • Timberwolves associate head coach David Vanterpool
  • Nets associate head coach Jacque Vaughn
  • Trail Blazers associate head coach Nate Tibbetts
  • Spurs assistants Becky Hammon and Will Hardy
  • Heat assistants Dan Craig and Chris Quinn
  • Mavericks assistants Jamahl Mosley and Stephen Silas
  • Bucks assistants Darvin Ham and Charles Lee
  • Sixers assistant Ime Udoka
  • Magic assistant Pat Delany

It remains to be seen whether the Pacers will be granted permission to speak with all of their potential targets. If they do, the team’s first round of virtual meetings would feature at least 14 interviews.

Many of the Pacers’ coaching candidates identified by Wojnarowski have been linked to other vacancies around the league. Vanterpool, Craig, Mosley, Silas, Ham, and Udoka, for example, are all believed to be interviewing for the Bulls’ job. Udoka and Ham have also been mentioned as potential 76ers candidates, as has Joerger. Vaughn was seriously considered for the Nets job before the team hired Steve Nash, while Hardy and Delany interviewed with the Knicks before they hired Tom Thibodeau.

[RELATED: 2020 NBA Head Coaching Search Tracker]

Others on Indiana’s list, such as Tibbetts and Hammon, have interviewed in past years for various NBA head coaching openings. Only a couple candidates – Quinn and Lee – haven’t received head coaching consideration in the past, as far as I can tell. Meanwhile, Joerger and Vaughn are the only names on the list with previous head coaching experience.

Mike D’Antoni has also been mentioned as a potential target for the Pacers, but he remains active in the postseason with the Rockets and there’s no guarantee he’ll leave Houston when his contract expires.

Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard has spoken about wanting to hire a head coach who takes a “modern approach” to the game and has the ability to connect with younger players. McMillan’s old-school approach to offense was believed to be one reason why Indiana made a change.

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31 thoughts on “Pacers Identify 14 Head Coaching Candidates

    • stevep-4

      I am stunned that with all these openings, this is the first time I remember seeing her name. Maybe I missed it, but still, she should be at the top of every list.

      • x%sure

        She’s been on multiple “lists” and got tired of it, as one does if the employer is just making his list look good and has no plans to complete the hiring.
        Usually though the search plan is not so formalized or public as with this one. Kind of a trend. Just avoid the pretense of leaking, and declare a list… via the lead leaker, Woj.

  1. Sillivan

    76ers and Pacers want playoffs success
    Warriors Mike Brown salary is 4 million a year

  2. 4thinfsgt

    It’ll be tough to sell the Pacers head coaching job after firing McMillan, essentially making it look like he was the big reason for their performance. Good luck, though. The team have good players and only need a couple of decent players to compete again.

  3. stevep-4

    If the Pacers end up with some cap room, there are some interesting additions for them that might add a little pop to their offense.

  4. Simmons>Russ

    Pacers are targeting an assistant above going for an established NBA coach like Brett Brown, Billy Donovan, Tyron Lue, Mike DAntoni. Maybe that means they plan on a small ish rebuild and going younger.

    Trading away Victor Oladipo on his expiring deal and going young.

    In which case Oladipo for the first overall pick??
    Pacers could then either take Ball or Edwards and slot that player straight it at SG.

  5. tonyinsingapore

    Pacers mgmt want up tempo, 3 and D.
    Under Nate the P’s were last in 3pt attempts. Philosophical differences led to the firing…

  6. I figured this was one place that Mark Jackson might get a sniff. They don’t name all 14 potential candidates but still I don’t see Mark Jackson’s name. He sure burned his Bridges totally to a crisp in Golden State didn’t he?

    • Luke Adams

      There are 14 in the list. I had to count multiple times before publishing to make sure I had the number right!

  7. McMillan is a great basketball man and high end HC, but it was likely time to move on. Joerger is the only guy on this list that’s more than a coin toss. If the Kings had a stronger FO, I think that he’d have already brought them in the playoffs.

  8. showty

    y in God’s name would mark Jackson or ty lue not be on this list… what is going on!!!!! Blasphemy!!!!!!

    • nbahole

      lue is not a good coach at all, which may or may not have something to do with it.

  9. nentwigs

    So DAN CRAIG is an Assistant Coach with the HEAT when he is not portraying 007 in films?

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