3:50pm: The Pacers have made it official, announcing in a press release that they’ve hired Carlisle.
“Rick is a proven winner with a championship and will be a Hall of Fame coach,” Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “He has demonstrated throughout his career an ability to build something with sustainable success. He has great respect for our franchise and our fans from his previous times here. We are very happy to welcome him back to Indiana.”
10:13am: The Pacers are hiring Rick Carlisle as their new head coach, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that Carlisle will sign a four-year contract worth $29MM.
It’s a reunion for the Pacers and Carlisle. He was an assistant coach on Larry Bird‘s staff in Indiana from 1997-2000 and became the team’s head coach from 2003-07 before moving on to Dallas.
For the last 13 years, Carlisle has been the Mavericks’ head coach, leading the team to a title in 2011 and compiling an overall regular season record of 555-478 (.537). Taking into account previous head coaching stints in Detroit and Indiana, Carlisle has an overall regular season mark of 836-689 (.548), putting him 15th in career wins among all NBA head coaches.
Carlisle stepped down from his position as the Mavs’ head coach earlier this month and there was a sense at the time that he might have another opportunity lined up. Given his history with the Pacers, a return to Indiana makes sense — especially since the organization was seeking an experienced leader after its experiment with first-time head coach Nate Bjorkgren failed after just one year.
Steve Clifford, Brian Shaw, and Terry Stotts were among the other candidates considered by the Pacers, who will pay a premium to bring in Carlisle. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files notes (via Twitter) that the new coach’s reported salary will be about twice what Frank Vogel and Nate McMillan received during their stints as Indiana’s head coach. The club is also still paying Bjorkgren for another year.
Although Carlisle still had two years left on his contract with Dallas when he resigned, the Mavs had indicated they wouldn’t seek compensation from a team that hired him, so the Pacers won’t have to give up any assets to finalize the deal.
Carlisle will be tasked with turning a veteran-heavy Pacers squad that missed the playoffs this year into a legit contender in the Eastern Conference. While the team may shake up its roster a little this summer – a Myles Turner trade remains a possibility – there’s an expectation that most key players, including Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon, and T.J. Warren, should be back.
Now that the Pacers and Celtics (Ime Udoka) have made decisions on new head coaches, there are five teams still conducting active searches. Those teams are the Wizards, Pelicans, Magic, Mavericks, and Blazers.
41 thoughts on “Pacers Hire Rick Carlisle As Head Coach”
Mavs Defense is needed
Jason Kidd is chatting up
D’Antoni is always coming up to chat
Mark Jackson is patient
Not a big surprise
That’s a predictable move but not sure why he would leave Luka unless Luka forced him out.
Luka isn’t the easiest guy to coach or play with.
Yeah, I’m sure Carlisle misses the time when he coached the guy in my profile picture.
Could be wrong but I think there are reports that Luka and Carlisle didn’t have a great relationship. If so, and if its been like this for three years, at some point a separation is bound to happen. Considering Carlisle left on his own, he likely just had enough of it and wanted to leave before any bad blood came up.
That or he just wanted a change in scenery. Considering the Mavs haven’t made a significant impact in the playoffs since their championship run, I think a coaching change was coming soon anyway.
Good match up of veteran coach and team needing a veteran coach to get the best out of them.
It’ll either be really good or an all out disaster that’ll lead to a full rebuild in Indy.
I’d be surprised if it was a disaster. I expect it could be really good, but the question is whether they can become elite.
Indy is gonna be a top5 team in the East next season, especially if they get a difference maker like Terry Rozier or Harrison Barnes for Myles Turner. Carlisle seems like a perfect guy to get Brogdon/Domas/Warren/Caris all on the same page. Plus I think Goga has potential to be a really good backup big for them. Speaking of their bench, I’d definitely keep TJ McConnell if possible too.
Nothing against you personally but your takes are freezing. Trade John Collins for Simmons? Rick Carlisle making the Pacers relevant with the help of…Terry Rozier?
What exactly are you disagreeing with as far as Collins/Simmons?.. you disagree that Terry Rozier, a guy who scores 20/gm & shoots 40% from trey on 8treys/gm would help Indy? I remember him helping Boston get to gm7 of the ECF a few yrs ago. He’s much improved from then & currently in his prime. He’d OBVIOUSLY help Indy. Go ahead & point that judgement inward
Collins does more on both ends of the floor and has only improved. I don’t think Simmons is a dud, but I also don’t understand where he fits in a fast paced Atlanta offense.
Rozier is overrated. He had a good season on a team that went nowhere. There is a reason the Celtics moved him. He also is not a dud, but he’s a bench guy on a good team IMO.
I like Rozier more than too-smooth Barnes. Rozier could cover PGs too, so that Brogdan/Lavert/Lamb don’t have to.
Mcconnell is getting some recognition & PT finally.
Goga the Georgian should do better under steady Carlisle.
Top 5 team in the east is basically all the teams with winning records.
And yet Houston still wouldn’t make the playoffs.
Barnes for Myles Turner. You are a great kings fan too. Or a great Bagley fan (turner is the best fit for him). But for indiana is this trade terrible. Sabonis, Barnes and so on, are bad ring protactors. Mabye you are a great Westbrook fan because he makes vs.Barnes, Sabonis dou a 30/25/15 Stateline
Doesn’t matter who the coach is, as currently constructed Indiana’s ceiling is maybe winning a first round playoff series.
Any reasoning behind that?
Any reasoning? There are at least four better, more talented teams in the East. It’s pretty self explanatory.
By that reasoning the Knicks wouldn’t have been top 5 this season & the Hawks definitely wouldn’t be top2. It’s very possible for Indy to be a title contender in the aeast next season & they’re definitely more talented than you’re giving them credit for
Problem for Indy is they don’t have the top end talent. They have a starting 5 that if healthy could be a top 5 team in the East.
But who’s their best guy? Sabonis? I’d take Giannis, Durant, Trae, Embiid, or even Butler over him in a playoff series. I think they’re missing that one true star player.
No star is an old story for IND. But they didn’t win a title with Reggie Miller either, and they keep their % high.
If they trade MylesT, then they have to find someone like him.
This draft should have such players.
The hawks wouldn’t be top 2 if not for injuries and men turning to mice! Nobody thinks the hawks are really title contenders
On paper, but they don’t play the games on paper.
As an Indy fan, the team is just average. There are no star players who you can point at and say that guy can carry them on a deep playoff run.
Brogdan, LeVert, and Warren are all solid wing-type of players but none of them are stars. They’re all 3rd/4th option type of players.
Its clear the pairing of Sabonis and Turner isn’t working either, but you can’t really move one without taking away a huge part of the team considering they are basically polar opposites of each other. Sabonis provides good rebounding and offense but can’t defend without fouling and Turner can defend but can’t rebound consistently or show any signs of a consistent offensive game.
The Pacers are a small-to-medium market team with three guys on max contracts, none of which are clear cut superstars which means they are basically treading water. While its tough for small market teams to do so because they risk losing the fanbase, but Indy needs to blow it up at some point and try to get lucky and find a superstar in the draft instead of just trying to plug holes on a slowly sinking ship.
And to talk about their play…ever since the early 2010s when the Pacers were competing with the Big 3 Heat, it seems like they haven’t had a good and consistent identity. Offensively they’ve been slow to adapt and up until this past season, were one of the slower paced teams in the NBA. Defensively they’ve been a mess. As a fan watching their games, it feels like one night they’ll get outrebounded by 10-20 boards with an opposing big going for a 20-20 game and then the next they’ll proceed to get torched from three. There’s just no consistency from their defense.
Sabonis is probably their best player. But if he can’t mesh with a rim protector who can reasonably shoot 3’s … then who can he mesh with?
Because if you move Turner then play him at the 5 you’re probably creating a layup line on the defensive end.
What did they say about the hawks only a few months ago?
Was thinking Boston would get him, they should have. Indy made the better hire.
Can’t go wrong with RC. Real basketball coach. And Pritchard couldn’t afford to go wrong with this hire.
People are too down on the Pacers. They were towing a few anchors last year. I think they have five high end starters and some decent pieces on the bench (few teams have these), it’s just a matter of a little rejiggering. The last thing they needed last year was a high maintenance HC.
I could see Carlisle, if they’re healthy, getting this team 3-6 seed in the East. Maybe winning a round.
I just don’t trust Sabonis as the best player on a team in the playoffs.
Their core guys are talented enough that a top 4 seed should be an expectation with reasonable health. I believe they were top 4 in 2020, with a limping VO and Turner not playing well. If they can’t get top 4 with Brogden, LeVert, Warren, Sabonis, Turner all healthy, then Carlisle was the wrong hire.
Seems clear that Carlisle was looking for something different ……. there’s no ball-dominant player with these PACERS, kinda similar to his old PISTONS teams.
Pritchard got burned by hiring an arrogant coach last season. He went for the safest hire this time.
Why would Pacers trade Turner. He and Sabonis make great big tandem. First I can’t believe Carlisle is not coaching Celtics. Another dumb move by Celtics, They are trending in the wrong way, if you ask me. Pacers were a top 4 team two yrs ago (45-28) 4th seed in East. Without Warren, and I believe Brogdon was hurt. So they absolutely will be a top 4 team. They have a lottery pick to add. Pacers will be a very good team next yr. Carlisle will get them right. Why is everyone trading Turner. Bunch of tools. Media doesn’t know squat about ball. They are selling stories. Think for yourself. NBA is just basketball not rocket science.
Pacers have been actively shopping Turner for a while, so it’s not totally baseless to speculate. The fit with him and Sabonis isn’t great but I would lean toward keeping Turner unless they think Sabonis can play 5 full-time (I don’t).
Brogdon-LeVert-Warren-Sabonis-Turner if healthy should be in the mix at the upper portion of the East, esp with RC. Agree on that.
How long have they played together. They could be best tandem in NBA. Think for yourself. Carlisle ain’t trading him. He has a friendly contract. You will never get back equal value. Both are still getting better. Warren has never played with them. Why would you break up a team that is a player better (Warren) with a lottery pick coming this yr. That is still young and growing as a team. Pacers would be insane to trade him or any of their top players now. Their top 7 is as good as any. As a team unit. And everyone wants to trade that away. That’s basketball sense. Or nonSense.
They’ve been on the same team since 17-18, Al. That’s more than a reasonable amount of time.
They can’t be the best tandem, IMO, and the reason is Sabonis. He’s basically Kevin Love. So he’s basically a guy who’s going to give you great stats, but be totally exposed in the PnR in the playoffs. Bo lateral quickness.
Still will be a fun reg season team whether they keep Turner or not though.
@Knickerbocker …….. I agree, more than a few are sleeping on the PACERS – injuries wrecked their season, not to mention having a new unknown HC.
A proper offseason, they get some semblance of health and having an acknowledged top-tier coach in Carlisle, they will be among the teams crowding that top 6 in the East.
Oh boy top 6 EC. Is that believing-in?
This is a home run hire. I remember when he took over for a underachieving Pacers team with a bad coach (Isiah Thomas) and won 61 games and had the best record in the NBA.
2nd seed w/ 2nd round knockout-
That’s a champion for the Pacers